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tester, N. H. 











549 & 551 BROADWAY. 





I o ' f 3 lo 



MAY, 1879. 



IT is from the order of succession in Nature, and not from the ever- 
lasting endurance of her works, that we may reasonably expect 
the reign of perpetual activity in her wide domains. In the animal and 
the vegetable kingdoms the ravages of decay and death are eternally 
repaired by the birth of new representatives of life ; and the loss which 
our continents undergo by occasional submergence is compensated by 
the appearance of new lands above the waters. Even those stupen- 
dous catastrophes involving planetary fate do not make an irreparable 
loss in the vast array of celestial objects. The matter saved from such 
mighty wrecks will again be available for useful ends ; the forces which 
seem destroyed in the terrific convulsions only assume other forms to 
participate in new movements and operations, and even the space-per- 
vading medium, while dooming the present worlds to an end in the dis- 
tant future, yet contributes much to bring others into being, and to 
perpetuate the events and the wonders of our universe. A clew to 
the manner in which such important purposes are achieved is to be 
found on tracing the fate of planets or of satellites introduced into orbits 
of the smallest size possible ; and these inquiries can be conducted with 
the aid of mathematical principles which are almost wholly unavailable 
in pursuing the details of the nebular hypothesis. 

In treating on the equilibrium figure of the earth supposed to be a 
homogeneous fluid, Laplace has been much embarrassed on finding that, 
if the rotation were so rapid as to reduce the length of the day to two 
hours and twenty-five minutes, stability would cease to be possible, 
though the equatorial gravity would be only partially neutralized by 
centrifugal force. In solving analogous problems respecting the form 
of satellites confined to very small orbits and distorted from a spherical 
vol. xv. 1 


shape, not only by diurnal motion, but by the more potent influence 
arising from the attraction of a great central orb, similar results mav 
be obtained, but they admit of a more obvious explanation. The ac- 
companying figure will give an idea of the manner in which, in such 
dangerous ground, a secondary planet would be affected, especially if it 
were composed of homogeneous and very yielding materials. If the 
two bodies were as disproportionate in size as Jupiter and his nearest 
moon, stability would be impossible on the minor one as soon as gravity 

at the extremities of its longest diameter was reduced more than fifty 
per cent, by the disturbances. Of the fatal effects of a further reduc- 
tion adequate proofs are afforded by three different modes of investiga- 
tion which I have given in the " Philosophical Magazine " for 1860, 1861, 
and 1871. Accordingly, on coming into fatal proximity with its pri- 
mary, such a satellite would not lose its matter in small portions, but 
would pass away in one great convulsion which would destroy the plan- 
etary condition and give birth to a ring. 

The insecurity which analysis shows in this case in the mundane 
structure arises from the circumstance that, when gravity is reduced to 
less than one half its value along the greatest axis, the pressure along 
that line can no longer be made to counterpoise the pressure from other 


directions. This rule will evidently need but slight modifications, when, 
instead of being so extremely unequal, both bodies have the same rela- 
tion of size as that subsisting between our earth and moon, or even such 
as is represented in our diagram. In this case, however, the lesser body 
would bear a somewhat greater disturbing influence ; but its dismem- 
berment, though of a paroxysmal and a very extensive character, would 
be confined to the side next the primary. On losing a large portion of 
its mass, the satellite would swing into a wider orbit ; its distance from 
the primary would for a long period be increased by tidal action, and 
many ages must elapse before they again became near enough to give 
occasion for a like convulsive rupture. The incorporation of a large 
celestial body with a greater one around which it previously revolved 
would thus be effected by a number of paroxysms, and would not be 
completed before many billions of years. 

The intermittent character of these rare events would be very de- 
cided, except, perhaps, when the subordinate body were, like a comet, 
composed of a profusion of exceedingly rarefied gas surrounding a small, 
dense, central nucleus. Such differences of density as may be naturally 
expected in the internal and superficial matter of a satellite would tend 
to give the convulsive dismemberment a somewhat reduced scale, and 
to make it recur after less remote periods of time. But this influence 
would be more than counterbalanced if the incorporating body were 
solid, as the planetary structure would be preserved for a longer time ; 
but, when the rupture took place, the ruin would be more extensive. 
Indeed, in the cases most likely to occur, the doomed planet would meet 
its fate in successive stages, of which the number and magnitude may be 
estimated with tolerable accuracy. If our moon were made to revolve 
about 4,500 miles beyond our atmosphere, its coalescence with our 
globe would be inevitable, and it would take place by about six or eight 
paroxysmal stages extending over a vast immensity of time. Two or 
three times the number of such terrific convulsions may be expected in 
the union between Algol and the large planet which causes his varia- 
bility ; and the same estimate will serve for the binary systems or the 
physically double stars when after long ages they become close enough 
for the incorporation of the less with the greater. 

It is the terrific conflict of matter on such rare and stupendous 
events, that awakens the power which is mainly concerned in giving 
birth to worlds. Large primary planets would be called into being if 
one or both of the celestial objects undergoing these violent stages 
of combination had the rank of a sun. The vast mass of matter pre- 
cipitated to the greater body on these occasions would sweep along its 
equator with furious velocity. But on the subordinate one, especially 
in its equatorial regions, the more superficial parts would slide over the 
internal nucleus in an opposite direction, in consequence of the tidal 
action, which in the new orbit must be powerful enough to produce not 
merely waves, but even progressive movements at the rate of many 


leagues a second. From well-established principles and from facts made 
known by recent experimental researches of Edlund and Zollner, it is 
evident that immense currents of electricity would circulate around each 
mighty orb, but in different directions. On the most stupendous scale 
the two suns, or the sun and its great planetary attendant, would thus 
acquire magnetism, but have opposite polarities ; and, in moving around 
their common center of gravity, they would exert over a wide domain 
the peculiar phenomenon which is but feebly manifested by a rotating 
horseshoe magnet. 

Though the calorific effects of the encounters of great spheres have 
monopolized the attention of modern scientists, many facts show that 
mechanical action of the most extreme violence is attended with a larger 
conversion of energy into electricity and magnetism, and that in the case 
under consideration these forces must be developed on a more gigantic 
scale than heat and light. On the fall of a meteorite to the sun after a 
long course through his atmosphere on November 1, 1859, a disturbance 
occurred in terrestrial magnetism so quick and remarkable as to excite 
much attention at several stations of Europe and America. Even this 
circumstance alone would give grounds for a very high estimate of the 
magnetic agency called into being, if an amount of matter more than a 
thousand times that contained in our globe were hurled almost horizon- 
tally over a solar surface with a velocity of two or three hundred miles 
a second. 

The consequences of the movements of the two great bodies, with 
the new properties which they assume in these convulsive stages, may 
be accurately traced by the aid of scientific principles for which Arago 
furnished a basis in 1825. Observing that, in the neighborhood of 
copper, water, glass, and other substances, a magnetic needle had its 
oscillations curtailed in the same manner as if it encountered the resist- 
ance of a medium, he endeavored to unravel the mystery by additional 
experiments, and was finally led to the discovery of magnetism of rota- 
tion. The researches which he commenced were continued successfully 
by Babbage, by Sir John Herschel, and others ; it was found that a 
horseshoe magnet rotating around its axis would impart its circular 
motion to disks of copper with which it had no connection ; but the 
inquiry was carried still further by Faraday, who proved all the effects 
on the electrical development attending the movement. Reasoning 
from what is known of such kinds of action, it is evident that the rapid 
revolution of the two great magnetized orbs could not sensibly affect 
the motion of preexisting planets nor even of asteroids in the solar sys- 
tem ; but it would alter much the courses and velocities of meteorites 
and meteoric dust ; and it would be likely to make its influence felt in 
whirling the nebulous matter supplied by comets or separated from the 
equator of the greater central sun. At that theatre of violence, the 
matter would be dissociated perhaps into the sub-elements of Lockyer, 
and it would be quickly spread around, along the equatorial plane; so 


that the electro-magnetic power would be favored with a good conductor 
for extending its control to great distances, and its effects can be traced 
without having recourse to any unwarranted assumptions respecting the 
passage of electricity through an absolute vacuum or through interstel- 
lar space. 

The operation of such an agency in the heavens is shown by re- 
searches of a different character. M. Gaston Plante, of Paris, has been 
led by experimental evidence alone to ascribe the form of the spiral 
nebulae to electro-magnetic action ; as their peculiar features correspond 
exactly to that which he produced by powerful electric currents under 
the controlling influence of a magnet. But the influence of the same 
forces is strongly impressed on the form of another class of nebulous 
objects. By investigations similar to those of Laplace in regard to the 
possible extent of the solar atmosphere, it may be proved that a rare 
gas surrounding a dense nucleus and with a uniform rotation could not 
be compressed in a greater degree than to show a thickness two thirds 
of its equatorial dimensions. Yet in many nebula? with a central con- 
densation the greater diameter is more than four times the less, and this 
would seem to indicate the operation of some force like dynamic elec- 
tricity acting along the plane of the equator of these rarefied objects. 
The evidence on this point will seem stronger when we recollect that 
observation gives only an inadequate picture of the effects of this cause ; 
as, in consequence of the position in which they are viewed, planetary 
nebula? scarcely ever exhibit the full amount of their ellipticity or com- 

Other facts assist in revealing the nature of the forces at work in 
these celestial curiosities. Judging from peculiarities they present in 
the spectroscope, Lockyer and Frankland have concluded that several 
of the nebula? must possess an exceedingly low temperature. Yet it is 
difficult to conceive that such cold, rarefied masses could be self-luminous, 
or that they could be visible to us even when surrounding a central sun, 
for gases have but a very feeble power of reflecting light. The diffi- 
culty, however, may be removed by supposing that the visibility of 
these nebula? depends on the passage through them of electricity devel- 
oped in some dark or bright binary system on the incorporation of the 
lesser with the greater orb. In this way an explanation may be found 
for the mysterious and unaccountable variations in the brightness of 
these objects. From the careful observations of Hind, D' Arrest, and 
other astronomers, it has been shown that, in a few cases, nebula? have 
declined in light so as to become invisible, but reappeared after a time ; 
thus exhibiting changes equally fatal to the ideas that they are congre- 
gations of stars or collections of fire-mist gradually cooling and condens- 
ing into planetary systems. But the mystery will be removed when we 
regard their light as dependent on the electro-magnetic action already 
described ; for in its latter stages, especially when the tides on the 
smaller member of the binary were drawing to a close, there would be 


occasional interruptions in the production of electricity and in its pas- 
sage into space. 

In ascribing to meteors an important part in the train of events 
which these widely extended forces are capable of producing, it is not 
necessary to adopt the extravagant estimates which were made of the 
numbers of these vagrant bodies in order to support a recently exploded 
theory in regard to the origin of celestial light. According to some 
eminent scientists, the amount of meteoric matter which falls to the 
sun's surface every year would increase his diameter annually about 
two hundred and forty feet, and it would exceed the mass of Mars. But 
from their occasional falls to the earth, and from other facts, it may be 
safely concluded that the number of meteors which become tenants of 
the solar dominions in the course of one or two millions of years, would 
afford material enough to form a planet as large as the earth, even if 
half their numbers could be made to unite into one bodv, instead of 
being allowed to rove indiscriminately through the system and to fall 
to the larger spheres. Now, the arrangement necessary for such a union 
would arise in our supposed binary system from the movement of the 
two suns in their magnetized condition around their common center of 
gravity. The powerful display of electro-magnetism succeeding each 
stage of dismemberment would gradually bring the majority of all the 
wandering meteors into the same plane, and give them orbits of a larger 
size and constantly approaching nearer to a circular form. Though 
constantly declining, this force must, during many thousand centuries, 
exert a predominant sway over meteors and comets, collecting them on 
the verge of the binary system in such numbers and in such a regular 
array that their aggregation into one body, though long deferred, would 
be inevitable. A nucleus once formed would increase by appropriating 
matter from the zone which it traversed, and, though at first much re- 
tarded in its growth, it would after many thousand revolutions attain a 
planetary size. Being largely composed of gaseous matter and there- 
fore very sensitive to the resistance of a space-pervading medium, the 
newly formed planet would contract its large orbit; and room would be 
thus made for bringing into being another mundane structure when, 
after the lapse of millions of centuries, another paroxysmal stage of 
incorporation awakened electric energy and prepared the way for a new 
coalition of the vagrant matter of the celestial regions. After number- 
less ages the recurrence of the dismemberment would give existence to 
another planetary orb, and increase the mass of the preexisting ones. 
Accordingly, the verge of a solar system must be considered as the birth- 
place of all its primary worlds. 

It is evidently in this external zone, where solar attraction is most 
feeble, that we may hope to find the most favorable conditions for the 
union of small into large masses. In the asteroidal region two spheres 
of granite, having each a diameter of one hundred miles, could not con- 
trol the velocity with which they would sweep by one another on meet- 


ing if the planes in which they moved differed one degree in their incli- 
nations to the ecliptic. A slight difference in the size or in the shape 
of their orbits would also be an unsurmountable barrier to their union. 
If a collision should occur between two asteroids, they would be only 
shattered into fragments, and a coalescence into one mass would be 
rendered more hopeless. But on the extreme verge of a solar system 
the numerous meteors consigned to large circular orbits lying in the 
same plane would have very nearly the same velocity in contiguous zones, 
and would be ready for the work of aggregation when their numbers 
were sufficiently increased by a long-continued electro-magnetic action. 

In such an innumerable group of small and light bodies in symmet- 
rical array, a large meteorite or the nucleus of a comet might become 
the embryo of a future world which may require many thousand years 
to attain the mass of one of the average asteroids. But its attraction 
after a time must become powerful enough to clear a large tract of 
space of matter, and thus to divide into two zones the great ultra-plane- 
tary ring of floating matter, while it must gradually make the paths of 
the small bodies deviate from true circles. From the outer zone it re- 
ceives the meteors, which are in the perihelia of their orbits, and have 
their velocity most rapid ; but the meteoric bodies from the internal 
zone unite with the growing mass near the points at which their motion 
is reduced to the lowest rate. Accordingly, the rotation of the new 
world must be in the same direction in which the constituents of the 
great ring were moving, and in which the parent orbs moved around 
their common center of gravity. The same direction of motion would 
also be exhibited by meteors which, instead of incorporating at once 
with the growing world, only described ellipses around it in accordance 
with the law of gravity. 

In this early stage of its existence a world would be able to acquire 
a large train of meteors revolving permanently around it chiefly in con- 
sequence of two circumstances : The rapid increase in the mass and the 
attraction of the growing planet will make the velocity gained by bodies 
in approaching it always less than that lost while they are retiring ; 
and orbits, even when slightly hyperbolic, would be changed into el- 
lipses. Besides this, the va^t atmosphere of nebulous matter around 
the new-born sphere would be more effective for the same end, as it 
would check the velocity of the passing meteors and cause them to re- 
volve around the growing mass long before they incorporate with it. It 
is in consequence of these meteoric falls, and not the mere process of 
cooling, that the abundance of cometary and nebulous matter surround- 
ing a young world is brought into a more dense condition. A planetary 
atmosphere of oxygen and hydrogen would maintain a gaseous form in 
spite of the refrigerating influence of many ages ; but it would be 
quickly converted into aqueous vapor by the chemical forces awakened 
on the fall of a meteoric stone, and in the course of time might become 
liquid or solid as it parted with heat. 


If in the immense annular group of bodies two oenters of aggrega- 
tion formed the two incipient worlds, ever increasing, their attractive 
power would be likely to form a binary system, both moving around the 
common center of gravity between them. It is when their conjunction 
takes place near the point where their orbits come nearest together that 
such a change maybe expected. The inner planet having, then, its min- 
imum and the outer its maximum velocity, the movement in the new 
binary system would be in the same direction as the common orbital 
motion around the central suns. To such a course of events may be 
ascribed the origin of the earth and moon, as well as the connection 
which exists between them ; for even tidal action would be sufficient to 
reduce the eccentricity of the lunar orbit to its present state. If at 
that early period meteoric and cometary matter were so abundant that 
both orbs could become twenty times as large and massive, their dis- 
tance apart would be so much reduced that the moon would long since 
have incorporated with our globe by a series of paroxysms which w r ould 
arouse electro-magnetic forces into action and give birth to a family of 

When, however, two embryonic planets, in the contiguous zones of 
the great ring of meteors, formed a binary system long before attaining 
their full size, their union would take place like that of greater masses, 
and be attended with like consequences. It is reasonable to suppose 
that, in the early stage of its existence on the verge of the solar -sysr 
tern, Mars, like our earth, received a companion having about one or 
two percent, of his mass, but confined to a small orbit. This primitive 
attendant, which was probably over one thousand miles in diameter, 
subsequently united with Mars by a series of convulsive stages ; and, 
by awakening electric agencies, gave birth to a family of satellites of 
which Deimos and Phobos alone remain. The career of Jupiter and 
Saturn was characterized by the same train of changes and events. 
When they first sprang into existence, in the outer zone of our system, 
each of these great planets was attended with a large companion which 
subsequently incorporated with the superior orb by a series of par- 
oxysms, and thus occasioned the birth of a family of minor worlds. Ac- 
cordingly, in a system of classification baaed on their modes of origin, 
neither our moon nor perhaps that of Neptune could be assigned to the 
same class which includes the satellites of Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and 

The very great disproportion between the world-forming power in 
great and in small binary systems, will appear in a clearer light by con- 
sidering the violence in both cases attending precipitation from the less 
to the greater orb. Were our moon placed so near us that it must yield 
to the rupturing forces, each paroxysmal dismemberment would give to 
the earth a ring of lunar matter having a transverse section of 30,000 
square miles, and forcing its way through the outer terrestrial structure 
with a velocity of five miles a second. But if the linear dimensions of 


both bodies were ten times as great, the conflict of the invading mass 
would be about 100,000 times as violent, and a correspondingly greater 
amount of energy would be converted into electric, magnetic, and calo- 
rific forces. Accordingly, great suns, in passing through their most ter- 
rific scenes, call forth a world-making power of the greatest vigor ; and 
will not only give birth to larger spheres, but also send them forth in 
wider orbits. 

But the size and mass which a world attains must depend mainly on 
the numbers of meteors and comets frequenting the solar dominions 
while it was in the course of formation. At the birth of Jupiter this 
vagrant matter was more than usually abundant, and it served to give 
the planet a predominance over the other members of the solar family. 
It is very probable that the minute and the rare tenants of space are 
very numerous in the Milky Way ; but this abundance of chaotic mate- 
rial, though calculated to increase the size of worlds, must shorten their 
term of existence, as the increase which suns obtain in mass and attrac- 
tion would have the same effect as a resisting medium in abridging the 
lives of their planets. Events involving the mortality of worlds would 
thus become more frequent ; and it is worthy of remark that it was in 
or near this part of our universe that most of the temporary stars have 
sent forth their sudden display of brilliancy. In such a region a planet 
of large size in closing its career by incorporating with a sun would be 
attended by an electro-magnetic energy sufficient to give birth to an- 
other planetary member of considerable magnitude on the outer zone 
of the solar system, so that the existence of worlds would not be wholly 
dependent on the union of double suns. 

But even in our own part of the celestial domain there are to be 
found evident marks of the occurrence of one of those stupendous events 
to which I have ascribed the appearance of temporary stars, and which 
are so intimately connected with the birth and death of worlds. On com- 
paring the observations of Carrington and Spoerer with those of Vogel 
and Young, it appears that for the sun's equatorial zone the time of ro- 
tation is scarcely twenty -two days, while it is nearly four weeks for the 
parallel of fifty degrees. So great and unexpected a difference in the 
diurnal motion of its parts proves that our central luminary must have 
at some past time received a large mass, which had a direct motion over 
his equator, and was finally precipitated to his surface. Whether the 
incorporating mass was a planet, or the last remains of the great com- 
panion which cooperated in giving being to the solar family, the effects 
deserve attention so far as they show the present working of a power 
which has been long in a declining condition. The movement of one 
zone of matter over another having a different velocity of rotation 
must be a source of solar magnetism, and this force may be therefore 
regarded as much weaker than it was a million years ago, but much 
stronger than it will be in very distant future ages. 

Yet, even in its reduced state, this magnetic agency is not without 


control through a wide range of space. If the loss of meteors which 
become a prey to the attraction of great spheres be replenished by the 
entrance of new ones into our system, the new visitants from ultra-plane- 
tary space would, in consequence of a resisting medium, be found in the 
greatest numbers along the line of the sun's progressive motion. The 
arrangement seems, however, to be modified by the sun's magnetism, 
which, by favoring direct motion in the plane of his equator, gradually 
leads to the meteoric array which is manifested in the appearance of 
the zodiacal light. That this light is reflected by innumerable meteors, 
is an opinion which has long been maintained, and which has been con- 
firmed by late observation ; but it is only from the physical considera- 
tion which I have presented, that we can account for the permanence 
of a phenomenon depending on the presence of objects of so minute 
and perishable a character. To the same cause may be ascribed the 
direct motion of the comets of short periods of revolution. These 
effects will give some idea of what might be accomplished by solar 
magnetism when, as in the cases I have considered, it becomes many 
million times more powerful than that of our sun, and when it is favored 
with all the conditions for arranging chaotic matter for a transforma- 
tion into worlds. 




I DESIRE to offer a few observations in reply to the paper by Pro- 
fessor Payton Spence, in the August number of the " Popular 
Science Monthly,"* on my theory of the growth of the Will. 

By a calculation of the chance coincidences of the muscles of the 
human body, Professor Spence appears to reduce to an utter absurdity 
any theory that makes the will depend upon trial and error. At the 
same time, he finds in the doctrine of evolution an easy way out of the 

1. My first remark is, that I from the first assumed a large number 
of instinctive connections among our organs, not perhaps so large a 
number as may now seem requisite, but still so many as to reduce 
greatly the random tentatives in new acquisitions. In my chapter on 
instinct (" The Senses and the Intellect," and mental science) I described 
under reflex actions and primitive combined movements, numerous in- 
stinctive groupings of considerable complexity on which the will can 
build its subsequent powers. I set no limit to the number of such in- 
stincts ; only, I did not refer to any that were not more or less immedi- 
ately apparent. I reasoned out the locomotive rhythm in the human 

* " Voluntary Motion," by Prof. Payton Spence, M. D. 


subject, notwithstanding that it can not be manifested at birth, as in 
the case of quadrupeds. 

2. When I composed " The Senses and the Intellect," the doctrine 
of evolution was not before the world in any shape. I made no at- 
tempt to frame an hypothesis to account for our instincts ; I assumed 
them as I found them, and described the progress of the individual ac- 
quisitions as they appeared to my observation. In my subsequent 
writings I have made ample use of the hypothesis, so far as I think it 
agrees with the facts. I may refer more particularly to the third edi- 
tion of " The Emotions and the Will," published not long ago. In 
" Mental and Moral Science " I allow for the probability of hereditary 
acquisitions in reference to the various relations summed up in the 
knowledge of space. 

3. My theory of the will, as first conceived, was the expression of 
the facts as I was able to view them at the time. I regarded as ac- 
quisitions everything that appeared to need teaching in some shape or 
other ; as, for example, speech. I inquired what were the powers that 
existed in the absence of teaching, and what were those that came into 
being only by teaching, or by some sort of experience or acquirement. I 
may have misconceived the scope of the two departments ; but, to the 
best of my knowledge at the time, I endeavored to appreciate the ex- 
tent of each. I saw that an infant at the end of a few months could 
perform simple articulations, as wa, na, bo, bit, and that on these could 
be based the instruction in speech. I did not consider that the artic- 
ulations could be tanght ; I was inclined to believe that they might be 
stumbled on by random tentatives. I now proceed to remark on Pro- 
fessor Spence's reductio ad absurdiim of that operation. 

4. When the Professor talks of the number of muscles that must 
come into play in pronouncing the letter A, and of the enormous un- 
likelihood of a child stumbling on the right one in a few months, he 
leaves out of account various circumstances. For one thing, the com- 
binations are absolutely limited by mutual conflict ; only such group- 
ings as can go together are to be allowed. How far this would reduce 
the possible number of trials I do not say, nor do I mean to affirm that 
the number would not remain very large ; still his figure would be very 
seriously reduced. I will take a more patent example than speech, 
namely, the movement of the eves. We know that six muscles are at 
work; and, allowing several gradations of energy to each, say four, 
there are twenty-four elements to play upon in every variety of combi- 
nation. But now, instead of summing the arithmetical possibilities of 
union among these elements, let us survey the outcome. Of course in 
many of the combinations, as when two opposing muscles were equally 
stimulated, there would be no result ; there would be simply a shock 
of painful collision. When the stimuli are unequal, there would be 
motion in some one course up, down, right, left, slanting, curved. 
The possibilities now are not so very formidable : the eye can only 


sweep over its field of vision to and fro, here and there ; its movements 
might conceivably be very numerous, but all the purposes of voluntary 
acquirement might be served without a very great number. 

Because the muscles admit of all these possible stimuli, it does not 
follow that the brain will ever impart them all. The limits of the mo- 
tor centers would be the limits of the spontaneous impulses. The 
workings of the system are brought within a narrow routine, from the 
deficiency of the nervous matter. There are possibilities of combina- 
tion of the muscles of the eyes that may never have been realized by 
the educated eye, far less by the uneducated eye. 

Take, again, the swing of the limbs. Many muscles are at work, and 
many possibilities of union are open ; but how few are actually realized ! 
The supposition of the vastness of the possible combinations cuts two 
ways : it opens up an almost infinite source of active capability. For, 
although it might be long ere we reached some one particular combina- 
tion, yet, out of the number of combinations that we might make, we 
should fall upon manifold obvious utilities that would be soon confirmed 
into useful habits. The same end may be served by many varieties of 
means ; there might be fifty thousand routes of the hand to the mouth, 
but, provided it got there anyhow, all would end well. The observation 
would apply generally to Professor Spence's millions of possibilities : 
many thousands of them would equally hit the same mark. 

5. I might dwell at greater length on the two limiting considerations 
now adduced ; that is to say (1), the limits of the central mechanism, 
and (2) the equal suitability of many thousands o'f the supposed pos- 
sible combinations to given ends. I go on, however, to cite the most 
important qualification of all the self-controlling power of the active 
mechanism. This is the assumption needed to account for the origin of 
voluntary power, whether in the individual or in the race. To expati- 
ate upon this would only be to repeat what I have said in my writings ; 
and I could not, in a short space, say anything that would be likely to 
satisfy Professor Spence. I prefer for what remains of my paper to 
comment upon his own theory, namely, the doctrine of heredity or 
evolution, which he puts forward as the true solution of the difficulties 
of the will. In the first place, however, I refer him to " The Emotions 
and the Will," third edition, p. 318, where I endeavor to show that the 
postulates of my theory of will namely, spontaneity, the law connect- 
ing pleasure with increased vitality, and the contiguous growth of ac- 
cidental connections are indispensable to the evolution doctrine, as 
stated by Spencer and Darwin. What I mean now to affirm is, that pre- 
cisely the same difficulty, arising from millions of possibilities of com- 
bined action, occurs at every step of our progress by evolution. The 
only thing that serves to abate the difficulty is that, when a happy com- 
bination is once struck, it is hereditarily transmitted and becomes a 
possession for ever. This would be an important mitigation, if heredi- 
tary transmission were easily and soon effected ; but the facts show 


clearly that a vast space of time is required to bring any acquisition 
up to the point of being transmitted to a perceptible amount. So 
that the time obstacle still recurs ; and Professor Spence's difficulty 
of permutations and combinations recurs with it. Indeed, if his com- 
putations were good as against my view of the will, it would be little 
less crushing against the start of voluntary power in the race : we 
should need to substitute, in order to the development of humanity, 
for millions of years, millions of millions. It is evident, to me at least, 
that there must be a shorter road, in both cases, than his calculations 
would suppose. 

6. I am quite ready to grant that our voluntary acquisitions repose 
upon certain established tendencies call them instinctive or hereditary 
and that the Professor is perfectly correct in describing the mature 
will as a mixture of organic maturation with proper acquisition. But 
I should not quite concur in his mode of expressing the proportions of 
the two. I think I could show that the brain of man, while it must 
contain at birth many preestablished groupings or connections, is dis- 
tinguished for its flexibility, adaptation, or educability ; and that, if we 
were to sum up the contents of any of our leading acquisitions, say 
speech, the primordial part the supposed capacity of articulation 
which the Professor thinks would need millions of tentatives, is the 
base for a superstructure of enormous extent, needing nothing to ac- 
count for it but the power of retentiveness operating upon these few 
articulate modes. Consider the power of speaking seven languages, 
and how little of this can be by any possibility transmitted, and we 
must admit that, somehow or other, a vast number of connections can 
be established in the lifetime of an individual ; every reasonable allow- 
ance being made for hereditary tendencies. 

7. In order to prove that we possess by hereditary transmission a 
countless number of organized muscular arrangements, upon which our 
acquisitions are based, Professor Spence adduces the instances of abnor- 
mal exaltation of capacity, under trance, mesmerism, somnambulism, 
and other extraordinary conditions. For my own part, I doubt whether 
these phenomena have been sufficiently investigated to be turned to this 
use. We may readily suppose that the hereditary tendencies may be 
inflamed by mental excitement to the ancestral level ; in other words, 
that I can be made to do, without the full measure of training, all that 
my forefathers may have attained to. This is like the case of forgotten 
memories revived in fever. But that I should bjr being mesmerized, or 
by being thrown into a trance, perform feats that no one of my ances- 
tors had ever been educated to perform as, for example, ballet-dancing 
or rope-walking is not within the legitimate application of the law of 
heredity. It would be like water rising above its source. I am not 
disputing the phenomena themselves ; but I think they need some other 
principles for their explanation, and, if quoted as proving the extent of 
our hereditary organization, they have the defect of proving too much. 




IN the exercise of his scientific attainments, there is one aspect in 
which the naturalist of to-day bears a certain likeness to the de- 
tective officer. The latter is perpetually endeavoring to " strike the 
trail " of the offender through his dexterity in the discovery of clews 
to the movements of the pursued, and attains his end most surely and 
speedily when the traces he has selected are of trustworthy kind. The 
naturalist, on his part, has frequently to follow the history of an animal 
or plant, or it may be that of a single organ or part in either, through 
a literal maze of difficulties and possibilities. His search after the rela- 
tionship of an animal may be fraught with as great difficulty as that 
which attends the discovery of a " missing heir " or lost relative in 
actual life ; and his success in his mission is found to depend, as does 
that of the detective's work, simply on the excellence and trustworthi- 
ness of the clews he possesses, and on the judicious use to which he 
puts his " information received." It can not be denied, however, that 
modern aspects of science and present-day tendencies in research have 
largely increased the resemblance between the enforced duties of the 
criminal investigator and the self-imposed task of the biologist. When, 
formerly, the order of nature was regarded as being of unaltering kind 
and of stable constitution, naturalists regarded animals and plants sim- 
ply as they existed. There was of old no looking into the questions of 
biology in the light of " what might have been," because the day was 
not yet when change and evolution were regarded as representing the 
true order of the world. When, however, the idea that the universe 
both of living and non-living matter had an ordered past dawned upon 
the minds of scientists, the necessity for tracing that past was forced 
upon them as a bounden duty. With no written history to guide them, 
the scientific searchers were forced to read the " sermons in stones " 
which Nature had delivered ages ago. " Without clear and unmistaken 
records to point the way, they had to seek for clews and traces to na- 
ture's meaning in the structure and development of animals and plants; 
and, as frequently happens in commonplace history, the earnest searcher 
often found a helping hand where he least thought it might appear, and 
frequently discovered an important clew in a circumstance or object of 
the most unlikely kind. 

Readers whose tastes are not materially scientific have doubtless 
heard much of " missing links " of nature, especially in connection with 
the gaps which exist between the human territory and ape-land. Indeed, 
the phrase has come to be understood as applying almost entirely and 
specifically to the absence of connecting forms between man and the apes 
forms for which, in one sense, no necessity exists, inasmuch as Mr. 


Darwin's theory does not demand that the gorilla or any of his compeers 
should be directly connected with man. The gorilla with his nearest 
relation lives, so to speak, at the top of his own branch in the great 
tree of life, while man exists at the top of another higher and entirely 
different bough. The connection between the human and low r er types 
is made theoretically to exist at some lower part of the stem when, from 
a common ancestor, the human and ape types took divergent roads and 
ways toward the ranks of nature's aristocracy. But although in some 
cases the need for " missing links " is seen, even theoretically, to be 
non-existent, or at least of a widely different nature from that supposed 
by the popular mind, there are yet cases in which that need is very 
apparent, and wherein, through the persistent tracing of the clews nature 
has afforded, the past history of more than one race of animals and 
plants has been made plain and apparent. Of such clews which are 
really mere traces, and nothing more there are no better examples 
than the curious fragments of structures found in many animals and 
plants, and named " rudimentary organs." An animal or plant is thus 
found to possess a mere trace of an organ or part which, so far as the 
highest exercise of human judgment may decide, is of not the slightest 
utility to the being. It is invariable in its presence, and as fixed in its 
uselessness. It bears no relation to the existing life or wants of the 
animal, but may in some cases as, for example, in a certain little rudi- 
mentary pocket in man's digestive system, serving as an inconvenient 
receptacle for plum-stones and like foreign bodies prove a source of 
absolute disadvantage or even danger. On what theory can the pres- 
ence of such organs and parts be accounted for ? is a question of ex- 
tremely natural kind. The replies at the command of intelligent humani- 
ty are but two. Either the animal was created with the useless append- 
age in question a supposition which includes the idea that Nature, after 
all, is somewhat of a bungler, and that nothing further or more com- 
prehensible than the fiat " It is so," can be said on the subject or, 
secondly, we may elect to explain the puzzle by the assertion that the 
" rudimentary organ " of the existing animal represents a part once 
fully developed in that animalVremote ancestors, but now 

Dwindled to the shortest span. 

The rudimentary organ or appendage is represented in the animal 
of to-day as a legitimate heritage derived from its ancestor. It is, in 
short, a family feature, to which the animal is the " rightful heir," but 
which has fallen through the operation of natural laws and conditions 
into disuse and desuetude, and has accordingly suffered with the career 
of living nature " down the ringing grooves of change." Necessarily, this 
second and rational explanation of the rudimentary appendages of ani- 
mals and plants is founded on the supposition that nature and nature's 
creatures are continually undergoing alterations, and that they have 
been modified in the past, as they will be in all time to come. The ex- 



planation thus afforded of the nature and origin of these disused parts 
is endorsed by the fuller knowledge of their history ; while, from a 
study apparently of insignificant interest, may be shown how certain of 
our living neighbors, along with ourselves, have, from lower states, and 
from the dawning epochs of the world, literally taken their place " in 
the foremost files of time." 

As most persons who have attentively looked at any common plant 
can tell, four parts are included in a perfect flower. These parts or sets 

Fig. l. 

of organs, as seen in the wallflower, consist (Fig. 1), firstly, of an outer 
covering colored green, and named the " calyx " (ca). Then comes the 
blossom or flower itself, forming the "corolla" (co). Inside the corolla 
we find certain stalked organs, each bearing a little head or " anther," 
filled with a yellow dust, the " pollen." These organs are the " stamens " 
(st). Lastly, in the center of the flower, we note the "pistil" (p), or 
organ devoted to the production of " ovules." The latter, when duly 
fertilized by being brought into contact with the " pollen " of the sta- 
mens, become " seeds," and are capable of growing up, when planted, 
into new plants. Now, the botanist will inform us that it is a matter 
of common experience to find some individual plants of a species with 
well-developed petals or blossoms, and other individuals of the same 
species with petals in a rudimentary condition, thus proving that the 
production of imperfect parts in flowers occurs as an ordinary event 
under our own eyes, and under the common conditions of plant-life. 
The natural order of plants to which snapdragon belongs presents a 
peculiarity, inasmuch as in most of its members one of the five stamens 
is abortive or rudimentary. It should be borne in mind that the botan- 
ist possesses a highly interesting and exact method of ascertaining how 
many parts or organs should be represented in plants. He places his 
reliance in this respect on the working of what may be called the " law 
of symmetry." The operation of this law, which may be said to be 
founded on wide experience, tends to produce a correspondence in 
numbers between the parts in the four sets of organs of which we have 
just noted a flower to be composed. Thus, when we count five parts in 
the green calyx of a plant, we expect to find five blossoms or petals in 
its corolla; five stamens (or some multiple of five) and five parts (or 



some multiple of that number) in the pistil. Where there appears to 
be a lack of this numerical correspondence, the botanist concludes that 
some violation of the law of symmetry has taken place, and that some 
parts or organs which should normally have been developed have been 
altered or suppressed. His reasoning, in fact, proceeds on the plain basis 
of first establishing, through experience, the normal number and con- 
dition of parts in the flower of any given order of plants, and of there- 
after accounting by suppression or non-development for the absence of 
parts he expected to have been represented. 

Now, in the snapdragon tribe, we find, as a general rule, five parts 
in the calyx, five petals in the corolla, but only four stamens. Such a 
condition of matters is well seen in the flower of frog's-mouth {Antir- 
rhinum), where we find four stamens, two being long and two short 
(Fig 2, A s 1 s 2 ), as the complement of the 
flower. We account for the absence of a 
fifth stamen by saving it is abortive. But 
a natural reflection arises at this point, 
in the form of the query, Have we any 
means of ascertaining if our expectation 
that a fifth stamen should be developed is 
rational and well founded? May not the 
plant, in other words, have been " created 
so ? " Fortunately for science, Nature 
gives us a clew to the discovery of the 
truth in this as in many other cases. In 
one genus of these plants (Scrophularia), we find a rudiment of a fifth 
stamen (Fig. 2, Bs), and in snapdragon itself this fifth stamen becomes 
occasionally fully developed ; while another plant of the order (Mullein) 
possesses five stamens as its constant provision. Unless, therefore, we 
are to maintain that Nature is capricious beyond our utmost belief, we 
are rationally bound to believe that the rudimentary fifth stamen of 
ScrophitlaHa, and the absent fifth stamen of other plants of its order, 
present us with an example of modification and suppression respectively. 
The now rudimentary stamen is the representative of an organ once 
perfect and fully developed in these flowers, and which it perpetuated 
by the natural law of inheritance until conditions, to be hereafter no- 
ticed, shall have caused it to entirely disappear. The case for the natu- 
ral modification, and that against the imperfect creation of such flowers, 
is proved by an ingenious experiment of Kolreuter's, upon plants which 
have the stamens and pistils situated in different plants, instead of be- 
ing contained in the same flower, as is ordinarily the case. Some stam- 
inate or stamen-possessing flowers had the merest rudiment of the pistil 
developed, while another set had a well-developed pistil. When these 
two species were "crossed" in their cultivation, the "hybrids" or mule 
progeny thus produced evinced a marked increase in the development 
of the abortive organ. This experiment not only proved that, under 

VOL. XT. 2 

Fig. 2. 


certain conditions, the rudimentary pistil could be improved and bet- 
tered, but also the identity of the two pistils, and the high probability 
that the abortive organ in the one flower was simply the degraded rep- 
resentative of the well-developed part of the other. 

As a final example of the manner in which we receive clews toward 
the explanation of the modifications of flowers, the case of the wall- 
flower is somewhat interesting. This plant and its neighbors possess 
the parts of the flower in fours. (Fig. 1, A.) There are four sepals and 
four petals, while six stamens (Fig. 1, B) are developed ; the pistil 
possessing only two parts. Here the law of symmetry would lead us 
to expect either four stamens or eight the latter number being a mul- 
tiple of four. The clew to this modification is found in the arrangement 
of the stamens. We find that four of the wallflower's stamens are 
long (Fig. B, st '), while two (st a ) are short. The four stamens form 
a regular inner series or circle, the two short stamens being placed, in 
a somewhat solitary fashion, outside the others. This condition of mat- 
ters clearly points to the suppression of two of an originally complete 
outer row of four stamens, and we receive a clew as to the probability 
of this view by finding that in some other flowers of the wallflower's 
group the stamens may be numerous. It is hardly within the scope of 
the present article to say anything regarding the causes of the condi- 
tions or of the agencies through which the modifications of plants are 
wrought out. Suffice it to remark that the " law of use and disuse " of 
organs explains the majority of such cases, by asserting that organs be- 
come degraded when they are no longer found to be useful to the econ- 
omy of their possessors. The degradation of a part is to be looked 
upon as subservient to the welfare of the animal or plant as a whole, 
and thus comes to be related to the great law of adaptation in nature 
which practically ordains that 

Whatever is, is right. 

The animal world presents us, however, with more obvious and bet- 
ter-marked examples of rudimentary organs than are exhibited by the 
modifications of flowers conspicuous as many of these latter instances 
undoubtedly are. Turning our attention first to lower life, we find 
among insects some notable and instructive illustrations of abortive 
organs, and also of the ways and means through which the rudimentary 
conditions have been attained. In the beetle order, the natural or com- 
mon condition of the wings which in insects typically number four 
is that whereby the first pair becomes converted into hardened wing- 
cases, beneath which the hinder and useful wings are concealed when 
at rest. Now, in some species of beetles, we may meet with certain 
individuals with normally developed wings ; while in other individuals 
of the species we find the wings to be represented by the merest rudi- 
ments, which lie concealed beneath wing-cases, the latter being actually 
firmly and permanently united together. In such a case the modifies- 


tion has been extreme, but there can be no doubt that the ancestors of 
the beetles with modified wings possessed fully developed appendages ; 
otherwise we must regard the order of nature as being one long string 
of strange and incoherent paradoxes. Mr. Darwin has given us some 
instructive hints regarding the modification of beetles' wings and feet 
in his remarks on the effects of the use and disuse of parts in the ani- 
mal economy. Kirby, the famous authority on entomology, long ago 
noted the fact that, in the males of many of the dung-beetles, the front 
feet were habitually broken off. Mr. Darwin confirms the observation 
of Kirby, and further says that in one species ( Onites apelles) the feet 
" are so habitually lost that the insect has been described as not having 
them." In the sacred beetle (Ateuchus) of the Egyptians, the tarsi 
are not developed at all. Mr. Darwin remarks that necessarily we can 
not, as yet, lay over-much stress upon the transmission of accidental 
mutilations from parent to progeny, although, indeed, there is nothing 
improbable in the supposition ; and, moreover, Brown-Sequard noted 
that, in the young of Guinea-pigs which had been operated upon, the 
mutilations were reproduced. Epilepsy, artificially produced in these 
latter animals, is inherited by their progeny. " Hence," says Darwin, 
" it will perhaps be safest to look at the entire absence of the anterior 
tarsi (or feet) in Ateuchus, and their rudimentary condition in some 
other genera, not as cases of inherited mutilations, but as due to the 
effects of long-continued disuse ; for, as many dung-feeding beetles are 
generally found with their tarsi lost, this must happen in early life ; 
therefore the tarsi can not be of much importance, or be much used by 
these insects." 

The beetles of Madeira present us with a remarkable state of mat- 
ters, which very typically illustrates how rudimentary wings may have 
been produced in insects. Two hundred beetles, out of over five hun- 
dred species known to inhabit Madeira, are " so far deficient in wings 
that they can not fly." Of twenty-nine genera confined to the island, 
twenty-three genera include species wholly unable to wing their way 
through the air. Now, beetles are frequently observed to perish when 
blown out to sea ; and the beetles of Madeira lie concealed until the 
storm ceases. The proportion of wingless beetles is said by Mr. Wol- 
laston to be " larger in the exposed Desertas than in Madeira itself " ; 
while most notable is the fact that several extensive groups of beetles 
which are numerous elsewhere, which fly well, and which "absolutely 
require the use of their wings," are almost entirely absent from Ma- 
deira. How may the absence of wings in the Madeiran beetles be ac- 
counted for ? Let Mr. Darwin reply : " Several considerations make 
me believe that the wingless condition of so many Madeira beetles is 
mainly due to the action of natural selection, combined probably with 
disuse. For during many successive generations each individual beetle 
which flew least, either from its wings having been ever so little less 
perfectly developed, or from indolent habit, will have had the best 



chance of surviving from not being blown out to sea ; and on the other 
hand those beetles which most readily took to flight would oftenest 
have been blown to sea, and thus destroyed." An instinct of laziness, 
so to speak, alone or aided by a shortness of wing, developed stay-at- 
home habits ; and such habits would necessarily tend toward the sur- 
vival and increase of wingless forms. Other Madeiran insects such 
as butterflies, moths, and flower-feeding beetles have well-developed 
wings, or possess wings relatively larger than they exhibit elsewhere. 
This observation, remarks Mr. Darwin, is quite in consistency with the 
theory of the law of natural selection which favors the survival of the 
fittest. '- For when a new insect first arrived on the island, the ten- 
dency of natural selection to enlarge or to reduce the wings would 
depend on whether a greater number of individuals were saved by suc- 
cessfully battling with the winds, or by giving up the attempt, and 
rarely or never flying." 

Among animals of higher rank in the scale than insects, the pres- 
ence of rudknentary organs is frequently to be demonstrated. What 
explanation, other than that of degradation and decay owing to dis- 
use, can be offered of the case of the crabs from the Kentucky Cave ? 

Crabs possess compound eyes 
borne at the extremities of high- 
ly movable stalks, these stalks 
in the sentinel crab (Fig. 3) be- 
ing extremely elongated. In 
some of the Mammoth Cave 
crabs the stalk remains, but the 
eye has completely disappeared. 
As the eyes in such a case could 
in no sense disappear from any 
reason connected with injury to 
the animal, we are absolutely without any reason for their absence 
other than that of disuse. Professor Silliman captured a cave rat which, 
despite its blindness, has large, lustrous eyes. After an exposure for 
about a month to carefully regulated light, the animal began to exer- 
cise a feeble sense of sight. Here the modification or darkness has 
simply affected the function of the eye ; in due time the effects of dis- 
use would certainly alter and render abortive the entire organ of sight. 
The possession of flying powers is so notable a characteristic of the 
class of birds that any exception to this rule, and the want of aerial 
habits, may be rightly regarded as presenting us with a highly anom- 
alous state of matters. Yet instances of rudimentary wings in birds 
are far from uncommon ; and several groups are, in fact, more notable 
on account of the absence of powers of flight than for any other struc- 
tural features. The ostrich, for instance, represents a bird the wings 
of which are mere apologies for organs of flight, and which are used, 
as every one knows, simply as aerial paddles. The curious Apteryx or 

Fig. 3. 



kiwi-kiwi (Fig. 4) of New Zealand, a near relative of the ostriches and 
running-birds in general, represents a still more degraded condition of 
the organs of flight, for the wing 
is reduced in size to an extraor- 
dinary degree, and exists in a 
highly abortive condition; while 
only one complete finger is rep- 
resented in the hand other 
birds, as a rule, possessing three 
modified fingers. The logger- 
headed duck of South America 
has wings so reduced that it 
can but "flap along the sur- 
face of the water," a condition 
of matters closely imitated among ourselves by the Aylesbury duck 
although, indeed, the young ducks are able to fly. The wing of the 
penguin (Fig. 5) is a mere scaly appendage utterly useless for flight, 
but useful as a veritable fin, enabling it to swim under water with great 
facility ; and of the auk's wing the same remark holds good. In the 

Fig. 4. 

Fig. 5. 

birds, then, there is ample evidence of deterioration of organs in the 
rudimentary nature of the wings of many species. How these condi- 
tions have been brought about is not difficult to explain in most in- 
stances. In New Zealand, where we find a singular absence of quad- 
rupeds, wingless birds many being extinct of which the apteryx is a 
good example, take the place of the four-footed population. In view 
of an immunity from the attack of other animals, the ground-feeding 
habits of these birds would become more and more strongly settled as 
their special way of life ; and, in the pursuit of such habits, the wings, 



seldom used for flight, would degenerate as time passed. The later 
advent of man, in turn, has exterminated certain races of the wingless 
birds such as the Dodo (Fig. 6) and Solitaire (Fig. 7) in Mauritius 
and Rodriguez while the wingless and giant Dinornis of New Zealand 
and its contemporaries have probably been hunted to the death of their 
species by their human co-tenants of these strange lands. 

The ascent to the quadrupeds brings in review before us still more 
striking illustrations of the apparently incomplete rendering of the 
structures of animal life. No better instance of the " rudimentary or- 
gans" of the naturalist can be found than in the group of the whales, 
and more especially in the species from which we obtain the commercial 
whalebone and oil the Greenland or right whale. This whale pos- 
sesses no teeth in its adult state, but before birth teeth are found in the 
gum. These teeth, however, are gradually absorbed, and utterly disap- 
pear from the jaws, the adult whale possessing, as is well known, a great 
double fringe of whalebone-plates depending from the palate. The 
same remark holds good of the unborn young of ruminants, or animals 
which " chew the cud" ; these animals in their adult state possessing 
no front teeth in the upper jaw, but in their immature condition devel- 

Fig. 6. 

Fig. 7. 

oping these organs which, by the way, never cut the gum only to 
lose them by a natural process of absorption. Now, here there can be 
no question of use ; and certainly no adequate explanation of their 
occurrence exists, save that which regards these fcetal teeth as the rem- 
nants of structures once well developed in the ancestors of the whale- 
bone whales and ruminants. To this supposition the evidence avow- 
edly incomplete obtained from geology gives no contradiction, even 
if it does not by any means supply the " missing links" in an adequate 
fashion. We do know that among the oldest of the great leviathans 
of the past was the Zeuglodon, which had teeth developed much in ex- 
cess of anything we find represented in the dental arrangements of the 


whales of to-day a creature this, of which, as regards its teeth at least, 
modern whales are but shadowy reproductions. While under the shel- 
ter of great authority we may declare this ancestor of the whale to have 
been intermediate in nature between the seals and whales, or between 
the whales and their neighbors the manatees or sea-cows and dugongs. 
In either case, the intermediate character of the animal argues in favor 
of its having been the likely parent of a race dentally degraded in these 
latter days. 

There is little need to specialize further instances of the occurrence 
of rudimentary organs in the higher animals, save to remark that not 
the least interesting feature of such cases is contained in the fact that 
the milk-glands of male animals among quadrupeds organs which exist 
in a rudimentary condition have been known to become functionally 
active and to secrete milk ; this peculiarity having been known to occur 
even in the human subject. Among the higher quadrupeds, however, 
there yet remains for extended notice one special instance of the occur- 
rence of " rudimentary organs," wherein, not merely is the nature of 
the parts thoroughly determined, but the stages of their degradation 
can be clearly traced through the remarkable and fortunate discovery 
of the " missing links." Moreover, the case in point, that of the horse, 
so clearly illustrates what is meant by progressive development or evo- 
lution of a species of animals, that it is highly instructive, even if re- 
garded from the latter point of view. 

When we look at the skeleton of a horse's fore-limb, 
we are able, without much or any previous acquaintance 
with the facts of comparative anatomy, to see that it is 
modeled upon a type similar to that of the arm of man. 
Were we further to compare the wing of the bird, the 
paddle of the whale, the fore-limb of the bat, and the fore- 
leg of a lizard, with the equine limb, we should find the 
same fundamental type of structure to be represented in 
all. Thus we find in the arm of man (Fig. 8) to select 
the most familiar example from the series just mentioned 
a single bone, the humerus ( 3 ), forming the upper arm ; 
two bones {radius ( 4 ) and ulna ( B ) ) constituting the fore- 
arm ; eight small bones forming the wrist {carjms) : five 
bones one for each finger forming the palm or meta- 
carpus and five fingers, each composed of three small bones, named 
phalanges, with the exception of the thumb, in which, by a mere in- 
spection of that digit, we may satisfy ourselves only two joints exist. 
In the wing of the bird (Fig. 9) we find similarly an upper-arm bone or 
humerus, two bones {radius and uhia) in the forearm ; a wrist {b), a 
thumb {g), and two fingers {cfe d). Now, turning to the fore-limb of 
a horse (Fig. 10) the hind-limb being essentially similar, in its gen- 
eral conformation, and corresponding as closely with man's lower limb 
we find its conformation to correspond in a remarkable fashion to that 

2 4 


of man's arm. First, there is the humerus (A), a bone of the horse's 
upper arm, concealed, however, beneath the skin and muscles, and be- 
ino-, therefore, inconspicuous in the living animal. The horse's forearm, 
like that of man, contains two bones radius (r) and ulna (u) it is true ; 
but the ulna has degenerated in a marked degree, and exists as a mere 
strip of bone which is tolerably distinct at its upper end, but unites with 

7/1 tz 

Fig. 9. 

Fig. 10. 

Fig. 11. 

and merges into the other bone, the well-developed radius. The wrist 
(ic) of the horse naturally succeeds its forearm, but from the fact of 
the upper arm being concealed beneath the skin and muscles, the wrist 
is commonly mistaken for the horse's knee. Thus, when a horse chips 
its " knee," it in reality suffers a contusion of its wrist. Man possesses 
<i,U'lit bones in his wrist, the horse has only seven, but the equine wrist 
is readily recognizable as corresponding with the similar region in man. 
The greatest difference between the human limb and that of the horse 
is found in the regions which succeed the wrist, and which constitute 
the palm and hand. Man has five palm-bones : the horse has appar- 
ently but one long bone, the "cannon-bone" (m 1 ), in place of the five. 
Now, to which of man's palm-bones does this " cannon-bone " corre- 
spond ? The anatomist replies, " To that supporting the third or mid- 
dle finger " ; and attached to this single great palm-bone the horse has 


three joints or " phalanges " (1, 2, 3) composing his third finger. These 
joints are well known in ordinary life as the " pastern," " coronary," 
and " coffin bones " ; and the last bears the greatly developed nail we 
call the " hoof." 

Thus the horse walks upon a single finger or digit the third; and 
it behooves us to ask what has become of the remaining five the high- 
est number of fingers and toes found in mammals or quadrupeds ? We 
find that, with the exception of other two the second and fourth fingers 
the horse's digits have completely disappeared. The second and fourth 
fingers have left mere traces, it is true, but it is exactly these rudimen- 
tary fingers which serve as the chief clews to the whole history of the 
equine race. On each side of the single palm-bone of the horse's great 
finger, we see two thin strips of bone (one of which is represented at 
m 2 Fig. 10), which veterinary surgeons familiarly term " splint-bones." 
(See also Fig. 12 A, d). But these "splints" bear no finger-bones, and 
the condition of the horse's "hand" or fore-foot is therefore seen to 
be of most noteworthy and curious conformation. It may, indeed, some- 
times happen that the small pieces of gristle or cartilage may be found 
at the base of the splint-bones, and comparative anatomists incline to 
regard these gristly pieces as the representatives of the first and fifth 
fingers. But the ordinary condition of the horse's hand may be summed 
up by saying that the animal walks on one well-developed finger the 
third and possesses the rudiments, in the form of the "splint-bones," 
of other two fingers, the second and fourth. These latter, it need hardly 
be added, are completely concealed beneath the skin and other tissues 
of the limb. In the hind-limb of the horse (Fig. 11), a similar modifi- 
cation is observed. The thigh-bone {fe) and knee-cap (p) are readily 
observed. There is but one toe the third ( l , 2 , 3 ) supported by a 
single cannon-bone [nit 1 ) ; and there are likewise two splint-bones (one 
depicted at m 2 ), representing the rudiments of the second and fourth 
toes. The horse's heel, like his wrist, appears out of place, and is popu- 
larly named his " hock." The shin-bone (t) is the chief bone of the leg, 
and has united to it the other bone (ft) succeeding the thigh, named 
the fibula, and which is seen in man's leg, and in that of quadrupeds at 

To the eyes even of an unscientific observer, who sees the skeleton 
of a horse placed in a museum, in contrast with the bony frames of 
other and nearly related animals, the equine type is admittedly a very 
peculiar and much modified one. In place of five toes, we find but 
one ; and in the matter of its teeth, as well as in other features of its 
frame, the horse may be said to present us with an animal form which 
appears as a literal example of Salanio's remark that 

Nature hath framed strange fellows in her time. 

A person of a thoroughly skeptical turn of mind might possibly de- 
mand to know the exact reasons for the assumption that the splint- 


bones of the horse are in reality the rudiments of the fingers we have 
represented them to be, and might further demand proof positive of 
their nature. Fortunately, geology and the science of fossils together 
come to our aid, with as brilliant a demonstration of the steps and 
stages of the degradation of the horse's fingers as the most sanguine 
evolutionist could hope to see. From Mother Earth, whose kindly 
shelter has sufficed to preserve for us the remains of so many of. the 
forms of the past, we obtain the means for constructing a genealogical 
tree of the equine race, by methods of certain kind, and through the 
exhibition of fossils, each bearing an impress of its history, which, to 
use Cuvier's expression, " is a surer mark than all those of Zadig." 

Our theoretical journey backward into the ages begins with the 
Recent or last-formed deposits those which lie nearest the outer sur- 
face of our earth. The Recent or Quaternary period forms a division 
of the Tertiary period, that is, the latest of the three great epochs into 
which, for purposes of classifying fossil forms by their relative ages, 
the geologist divides the rock-formations. The Tertiary rocks, com- 
mencing the list, with the last-formed or uppermost strata, begin with 
the Quaternary or Recent deposits ; next in order succeed the older 
Pliocene rocks ; then come the Miocene formations, and lastly succeed 
the Eocene rocks. These last are the oldest of the Tertiary period, 
and lie in natural order upon the Cretaceous or Chalk Rocks, which 
themselves belong to an entirely different and anterior (Mesozoic) 
period in the history of our globe. The first fossil that is, the last- 
deceased horses we meet with are found in the Quaternary and Plio- 
cene, or the last-formed deposits of the Tertiary system. Between 
these earlier Pliocene horses and our own Equidae there are no material 
differences ; and the limbs of these forms may therefore be diagramma- 
tized as depicted in Fig. 12, AA 1 ; the cannon-bone in all of these 
figures being marked a ; the splint-bones dd ; the "pastern" and 
"coronary" bone b, e, and the "coffin-bone"/. 

But near the beginning; of the Pliocene formations of the Old 
World, and in the oldest of the Miocene rocks which lie below them, 
we find a member of the horse famity which differs in certain important 
respects from the horses of the Recent period, and from those of to-day. 
The fossil horses alluded to are found not merely in Europe, but in the 
Sewalik Hills in India, and they must therefore have possessed a very 
wide range of distribution. When first discovered, M. de Christol called 
this species of horse Hipparion, a name which has been still retained 
for it, amid that constant alteration in zoological nomenclature which 
is the labor of the foolish and the sadness of the wise among us. What 
are the chief peculiarities of Hipparion ? Briefly stated, in the larger 
development of the "splint-bones" (Fig. 12, CC), which, according 
to Owen, must have " dangled by the side of the large and functional 
hooi (or third toe) like the pair of spurious hoofs behind those forming 
the cloven foot in the ox." This conformation, continues Owen, " would 



cause the foot of the Hipparion to sink less deep into swampy soil, and 
be more easily withdrawn than the more simplified horse's foot." Fur- 
thermore, the ulna or bone of the forearm, deficient in the horse of to- 
day, is tolerably well developed in Hipparion. 

Backward in time, and in the older ' Miocene formations of Europe, 
another fossil horse was disentombed, and was duly described under 
the name of Anchitherium. This latter horse possesses a completely 
developed ulna in the forearm, and fibula in the leg- ; but its chief point 
of interest lies in the fact that each foot possessed three fully developed 
toes (Fig. 12, DD 1 d, d, c) which apparently must have touched the 




Fig. 12. 

ground in walking. Already, our splint-bones are seen to better their 
condition as we pass backward through the ages, and to appear as the 
natural supports of well-developed second and fourth toes. Here the 
geological history of the horse in the Old World may be said practi- 
cally to end. Modern history assures us that the first horses which 
peopled the New World, and whose descendants roam over Ameri- 
can prairies as the famed mustangs, were imported by the Spaniards at 
the period of the Mexican conquest. Geology has a more curious tale 
to relate of the New World horses and their history, and gives them an 
antiquity compared with which the events of man's primitive history in 
either world are but as yesterday. Recent researches among the rock 
formations of Western America, in particular, have shown us that it 
is to the New World we must look for a perfect pedigree of the horse. 
For, beginning with the horse of to-day, with its splint-bones, we are 
carried gradually backward in time to the Pliocene horse of the New 
World named Pliohippus (B B 1 ) a form not differing materially from 
the living horse, but serving in a very graduated fashion to introduce 
us to the older Protohippus, the New World representative of our own 
fossil Hipparion (C C 1 ), and in some respects a more typical three-toed 


horse than the latter. Our own Anchitherium (D D 1 ) corresponds to 
the next specimen of the New World Miohippus by name ; and 
Miohippus evinces a still more important modification in that it pos- 
sesses a rudiment of the fifth or little finger in addition to the second, 
third, and fourth digits with which the fore-feet are provided. 

The American horses now continue the history of the race in time 
past without aid or representative from the eastern hemisphere, in so 
far, at least, as the latest research has shown. To Miohippus succeeds 
the Mesohippus (E E 1 ) from the American Miocene, which has three 
well-developed toes, and in addition shows the rudiment of the little 
finger (E e) of the fore-feet (seen also in Miohippus, D e) in an enlarged 
condition. Passing to the Eocene formations, the oldest series of the 
Tertiary rocks, we meet with the next step in the form of the Orohippus 
(F F 1 ), in which the little finger (e) appears as a veritable member of 
the hand, the hind-feet still possessing three well-developed toes only : 
while, consistently with the development of the toes, the ulna of the 
forearm and fibula of the leg appear as bones of legitimate size, and 
present a striking contrast to their rudiments in the horse of to-day. 
The last discovered horse is from the oldest of the Eocene beds ; it has 
been appropriately named Eohippus, and presents us with four com- 
plete toes (second, third, fourth, and fifth) on the fore-feet, and a rudi- 
ment of the first toe as well ; with a trace of the fifth toe of the hind- 
feet this last member being, as we have seen, unrepresented in any of 
the other forms. When the Chalk. Rocks shall have yielded up their 
fossil horses, it is consistent with logic and reason to expect that the 
primitive stock of the horses will be discovered with its complete pro- 
vision of five toes, and its corresponding modifications of form. 

To what conclusions, of reasonable kind, do these stable facts re- 
garding the pedigree of the horse naturally lead ? The answer is to- 
ward a belief in the slow and progressive modification and evolution of 
the one-toed modern horse from a five-toed ancestor. This process of 
modification must, of course, have affected its entire frame, but it is 
sufficient for our present purpose to point out that in the structure of 
the foot alone we discern the evidence for evolution, as clearly as in the 
entire organization of the animal. An increase of speed, and obvious 
advantage over its enemies, would be gained by the horse, as its toes 
grew " small by degrees and beautifully less " ; and the single-toed race 
has thus practically come to the front in the world of to-day, as the 
plain and favorable result of the work of degradation among its digits. 

Two bony shreds or rudiments thus lay the foundation of a grave 
conclusion regarding the horse and its manner of development, and 
exemplify the adage that great and unlooked-for results sometimes 
spring from beginnings of apparently the most trifling kind. The 
" splint-bones " form, in fact, a clew which, when rightly pursued, leads 
not merely to a knowledge of the evolution of the horse, but to an 
understanding of the entire scheme of nature. The idea, then, of 


" special creation " of the horses does not look well, it must be con- 
fessed, in the face of the gradual and obvious modification exhibited 
by the series of fossil horses, which leads without a break from Eohippus 
to the modern horse. At most, it may be said, there is but a choice of 
probabilities offered us. And in the adoption of a scheme of develop- 
ment, and in face of the facts laid before us, it is hard to see any 
grounds whereon the special-creation theory can be maintained, or the 
theory of progressive development and evolution denied. For if evo- 
lution is the law of the horse's history, it must logically follow that it 
represents the scheme of nature throughout : since the uniformity of 
nature, in which we are bound to believe, and to which we are bound 
to appeal, would utterly negative the idea that evolution should hold 
good for the horse, and be inapplicable to any other living thing. Be- 
cause the missing links are not so completely supplied to us in other 
cases as in the horse, we are not on that account entitled to assume that 
the theory of development is invalid. We may not see an oak-tree 
grow inch by inch, but we are as positive as our mental nature will 
admit, that the oak was once an acorn, and that there has been a pro- 
gressive growth and increase which might not be apparent to us were 
we to watch the tree for weeks together. Applying this reasoning to 
the case before us, it would be as illogical to deny that the order of 
nature was that of development, as to insist that the oak was created as 
it stands. The extent of human knowledge, and the duration of human 
existence, are together inadequate to enable us to discern the progress 
of this world's order after the fashion whereby, from a lofty elevation, 
we may trace every winding of a stream. But the probabilities of the 
case are as overwhelmingly for progressive development, as the direct 
evidence at hand exemplified by the horse's pedigree tells against 
special and independent creation having been the way of the First 
Cause in the making of the world and its living things. 

The entire scheme of scientific discover}' thus depends very largely 
upon the use made of the hints which nature is continually presenting 
to the searcher, and on the correct interpretation of the facts he is for- 
tunate enough to elicit in his search. The study of the rudiments of 
animal and plant structures may well exemplify, from the importance 
of its results, the value of gathering up the veriest fragments of knowl- 
edge. For, as Mr. A. R. Wallace has remarked regarding rudimentary 
organs, " There must be a cause for them ; they must be the necessary 
results of some great law." And again are this author's words most 
appropriate when he says : " Many more of these modifications should 
we behold, and more complete series of them, had we a view of all the 
forms which have ceased to live. The great gaps that exist between 
fishes, reptiles, birds, and mammals (that between reptiles and birds is 
now wellnigh obliterated) would then, no doubt, be softened down by 
intermediate groups, and the whole organic world would be seen to be 
an unbroken and harmonious system." Gentletna7i i s Magazine. 



By FELIX L. OSWALD, Ph. D., M. D. 

TTTE know from the accounts of Sir John Ross, Captain Kane, and 
V V other Arctic explorers, how persistently the Esquimaux prefer 
walrus-blubber and whale-oil to the most seductive products of the 
vegetable kingdom, but the fervor of their devotion was only realized by 
the Rev. Mr. Hansen, the Moravian missionary, who prepared a dying 
Esquimau for the glories of the New Jerusalem. "I am sure you are 
right," said the departing brother, " but, tell me, are there many wal- 
ruses in heaven ? " " None at all, as far as I know," Mr. Hansen replied, 
not without astonishment at the question. The weary eyelids opened to 
emit a look of intense reproach. "And you couldn't tell me that be- 
fore ? No heaven that for me, then an Esquimau can not subsist with- 
out walrus ! " 

The peptic stimulus of a high latitude, as recognized by Dr. Boer- 
haave, may justify such preferences ; but Greenlanders, carried down to 
our temperate climate and even to the eternal summers of Cuba, still 
insisted on their daily blubber-ration with a firmness worthy of a better 
cause. Ferdinand Renz, the European Barnum, found it to his advan- 
tage to gratify the national taste of his Greenlanders. He had at- 
tempted to wean them from their traditional grease, and nearly suc- 
ceeded, as he flattered himself, when his managers reported an enormous 
deficit of tallow-candles, which he found had been devoured by the box- 
ful in the silence of night by the bereaved children of the North. 

Nowhere is indifference to the quality of food carried further than 
in the rural districts of Russia. Black, sour bread, salt pork, cabbage, 
and quass, or fermented cabbage-water, are the nectar and ambrosia of 
the Slavonic boor, who in times of scarcity will content himself with a 
diet that would drive Munster and Connaught to desperation. Quass, 
their popular tipple, is described as resembling a mixture of stale fish 
and soap-suds in taste, yet has next to beer probably more votaries 
than any other fermented stimulant. 

Assassm, assassinate, and their derivatives come from hasheesh, the 
Arabian word for hemp. A decoction of hemp-leaves, filtered and 
boiled down, yields a greenish-black residuum of intensely bitter and 
nauseous taste a stuff not very likely, one should think, to tempt a 
normally constituted human being. Yet this same hasheesh, Dr. Nachti- 
gal assures us, can marshal a larger army of victims than either gun- 
powder or alcohol ; and only the originator of the opium-habit, he thinks, 
will have an uglier score against him on the day of judgment than the 
Sheik-al-Jebel, who, tradition says, first introduced the hasheesh-habit. 


The effect of this hemp-extract is compared to hydrophobia : its vota- 
ries are seized with rage and restlessness, and if the paroxysm is upon 
them seize a knife, a stone, or anything that will serve for a weapon, and 
rush out to commit indiscriminate assaults, continuing to " run amuck," 
as the Malays term it, till the stimulating power of the drug has spent 
itself, or till their career is stopped by a well-aimed shot. In Batavia 
and other cities of the Dutch Indies there used to be a standing reward 
for the slaying of a " muck-runner," but even such a man as Ibrahim 
Pasha was not ashamed to stimulate the courage of his soldiers by the 
use of the detestable poison. The hasheesh-habit originated in Asia 
Minor, but is now practiced throughout northern Africa down to the 
Abyssinian valleys, and has spread eastward to the Malay Archipelago, 
and even to Siam, where its further progress was arrested by the deter- 
mined action of the Siamese Government. 

A frugal diet has this additional advantage, that simple food is in 
less danger of adulteration, or must at least be imitated by equally 
simple and harmless substitutes. Watered milk or lard mixed with 
corn-meal is certainly annoying, but hardly injurious, and is a trifle 
altogether if compared with the abominations that are half consciously 
consumed by the lovers of imported delicacies and expensive stimulants. 
Dr. Stenhouse, of Liverpool, analyzed a suspicious sample of tea, with 
the following result, published in the " Planters' Price Current " of Feb- 
ruary, 1871 : The package contained some pure congou-tea leaves, also 
siftings of pekoe and inferior kinds, weighing together twenty-seven 
per cent, of the whole. The remaining seventy-three per cent, were 
composed of the following adulterants : Iron, plumbago, chalk, china- 
clay, sand, prussian blue, turmeric, indigo, starch, gypsum, catechu, 
gum, the leaves of the camellia, sarangua, Chlorantes officinalis, elm, 
oak, willow, poplar, elder, beach, hawthorn, and sloe. 

There is hardly any article of food in general use which has not 
somewhere been converted into a stimulant by the process of fermen- 
tation. What else are whisky, rum, beer, etc., but fermented or distilled 
bread, the bread-corn diverted from its legitimate use to produce an 
artificial stimulant ? Potatoes, sugar, honey, as well as grapes, plums, 
apples, cherries, and innumerable other fruits, have thus been turned 
from a blessing into a curse. The Moors of Barbary and Tripoli distill 
an ardent spirit from the fruit of the date-palm, the Brazilians from the 
marrow of the sago-tree and from pineapples, and even the poor ber- 
ries that manage to ripen on the banks of the Yukon have to furnish a 
poison for the inhabitants of Alaska. Pulque, the national drink of 
Mexico, is derived from a large variety of the aloe-plant, the sap of which 
is collected and fermented in buckskin sloughs into a turbid yellowish 
liquor of most vicious taste. 

Cheese, in fact, is nothing but coagulated milk in a more or less ad- 
vanced state of decay. Sauerkraut is cabbage in the first stage of fer- 
mentation, which if completed yields quass, the above-mentioned Rus- 


sian tonic. Chica, a whitish liquid which in Peru is handed around like 
coffee after meals, is prepared from maize or Indian corn, moistened and 
fermented by mastication. 

How a fondness for such abominations is propagated can be explained 
by any boy who had to drink beer or eat strong cheese against his 
will, and by and by " rather liked it," but a question less easily answered 
is how such tastes ever could originate. To the first man who tasted 
hasheesh, alcohol, or pulque, these substances could hardly be more tempt- 
ing, we should think, than coal-tar or caustic sublimate. But most 
articles of food and drink are older than history. All we can do is to 
trace their progress from nation to nation and from century to century, 
but their origin loses itself in the cloud-land of tradition. The exegesis 
of diet is as problematic as that of religious dogmas. 

Natural characteristics can frequently be traced to an hereditary 
foible for a special diet. French wits unhesitatingly attribute the testes 
cares of their eastern neighbors to the heavy black bread of the 
land of Thor, and hint strongly that the reticence and stubbornness 
of John Bull have more to do with his beefsteaks than with mental 

" Alas, how helpless is theology against the diet of bull-beef ! " writes 
Father De Smet in his yearly report from the Sioux missions. It cer- 
tainly is a suggestive fact that agriculture had to precede Christianity 
in its conquests over the aboriginal North Americans. Not one of our 
Indian tribes would renounce the devil and all his works unless we 
could get them to renounce the buffalo first. I heard a vegetarian lec- 
turer in New Orleans last year, who gave a resume of the peculiar views 
of his people, and certainly made out a very strong case in their favor. 
" The aggressive, the belligerent, and bloodthirsty instincts of all na- 
tions," he said, " are exactly equal to the proportion of animal food in 
their diet. The Hindoos, who like pigeons seem to be ' born without 
gall,' are vegetarians from birth ; so were the Lotophagi of antiquity, 
who compromised all differences by arbitration. The Malays, who, in 
the same climate and with the same advantages, make use of animal 
food, are notoriously cruel and quarrelsome. But in the Indians of 
North America, who are wholly carnivorous, human nature and native 
pity seem to have become extinct, and superseded by an artificial in- 
stinct of bloodshed which equals that of the most ferocious animals." 

The Mexicans distinguish between Indios mansos and Indios 
bravos tame and fierce Indians between whom there seems to be no 
generic difference ; but the eastern tribes are frugivorous, cowardly, 
and harmless as Hindoos, though in stature and facial characteristics 
exact copies of their western kinsmen, the flesh-eating Comanches, 
who in cruelty emulate the pirates of Malacca. 

Erasmus complains of the porcine paunches and materialistic ten- 
dencies of his countrymen, and warns them that, when eating and drink- 
ing have become the objects of life, animalization will speedily follow. 


" It was thus," he facetiously remarks, " that Circe changed the com- 
panions of Ulysses into pigs." 

It is certain that the monastic gluttony of Austria, Bavaria, and the 
adjoining states, where plethoric convents abound, has developed an 
unmistakable type of grossness in the characteristic physiognomies of 
those countries. The ingenium pingue which Ulric Hutten satirizes is 
still an hereditary affliction in many Catholic districts, and nowhere 
more than in Austria proper, in Linz and Vienna, where the art of 
cookery has become the problem of life, and " the instinct of liberty is 
drowned in sausage-fat." 

Abstinent habits, too, begin to set their mark if continued to the 
second or third generation. The ascetic vigor of Semitic countenances 
probabby dates from the establishment of the Mosaic and Islamitic codes, 
with their rigid dietetic restrictions, and something in the spiritualistic 
eyes of the Arabian desert-dwellers suggests the absence of those ani- 
mal brain-elements which according to Dio Lewis are assimilated like 
trichinae by the use of pork and beef. But only a French savant can go 
so far as to reconstruct the entire national history of a race from such 
physiognomic indications. " The face of a Turk," says M. de Chateau- 
briand, " shows the high cheekbones and powerful, bone-crushing jaws 
of the original Turkoman shepherd, improved by a diet of Attic figs and 
Thessalian grapes, further sweetened by the sherbet and perfumed 
cakes of Constantinople, and finally clouded by the fumes of opium ! " 

" There is a sadness in the face of the typical Chinese," writes the 
Rev. Mr. Gentz, " which now always moves me to infinite pity. At first 
they were vaguely repulsive to me, these death-head profiles and sad, 
sunken eyes, but I can interpret them now, and they speak to me of 
centuries and centuries of dull, hopeless suffering by slavery, poverty, 
and loathsome or insufficient food." If we believe that Dr. Fowler was 
able to distinguish the weavers from other operatives of a miscellaneous 
manufactory, merely by the formation of their heads, we can not consis- 
tently call even Chateaubriand a visionary, for " alimentativeness " is one 
of the recognized organs of the craniological sj'stems. A certain am- 
plitude of the region between the ear and the posterior base of the skull 
indicates gormandism to the followers of Dr. Gall, and excessive devel- 
opment, therefore, of gluttony and voracity. A happy illustration if 
not demonstration hereof is the preserved bust of Vitellius, the imperial 
arch-glutton, whose enormous head seems only a reduced continuation 
of the still more enormous neck. Lavater, the father of Physiognomy, 
describes the " Fresser-Falte " or gormand's wrinkle which in his opinion 
is developed by a certain movement of the cheeks which makes us say, 
" His mouth waters," and by which he thinks he could detect an Aus- 
trian abbot in any disguise. 

On the moral effect of sundry articles of food, Dr. Bock, the Leipsic 
professor, and author of the famous " Buch vom gesunden und kranken 
Menschen" ("Man in Health and Disease "), discourses as follows: 
vol. xv. 3 


" Flesh-food imparts courage, but also aggressive moods and bad temper, 
with intervals of gloom and hypochondria ; excessive use of pork can 
produce a mental nausea, known to the Hungarians as the Tzbmor, which 
may lead to insanity and suicide. The ichthyophagous tribes of northern 
Siberia are rendered stupid and sluggish by an exclusive diet of fish. 
Fish and fowl in moderate quantities and in combination with vegeta- 
ble food, produce no appreciable injurious effects. The influence of ripe 
fruit is benign, exhilarating without the eventual reaction that always 
follows alcoholic excitement. Milk, too, especially the rich milk of sheep, 
has an assuaging, mildly cheering effect even on hypochondriacs and 
dyspeptics. Pure fat of any kind exercises a calming influence on ex- 
cited passions, but if long continued as an article of diet tends to som- 
nolency and lassitude. Strong cheese operates as a sedative and a 
check to the activity of the brain-functions makes us stupid in other 
words, and can also result in a half-physical, half-psychical dejection not 
dissimilar to the Tzomor. 

" Wheat-bread is neutral, a most excellent though not all-sufficient 
article of food, and, like a blank sheet of paper, serves as a foil to 
whatever you may combine it with, while sour rye-bread is a tonic 
and reacts on the temper in a feeble way. Eggs, raw or soft-boiled, 
are more nourishing than meat, stimulate muscular activity, and pro- 
duce reflective rather than vindictive moods. Sugar alone, or prepon- 
derating in made dishes, causes vague uneasiness in some and mer- 
riment and wantonness in other constitutions, but moderately com- 
bined with farinaceous substances and fat, is inferior only to fruit as 
an alimentary corrective. Potatoes and the legumina (beans, peas, 
and lentils), inasmuch as they are farinaceous, are a legitimate article 
of food, yet not as healthy as the cereals. They lack the brain-forming 
elements, and, though like bread they might sustain life, they would 
operate depressingly produce weariness and ennui, without the addi- 
tion of saccharine and sub-acid food. 

" The nervousness and peevishness of our times are chiefly attributa- 
ble to tea and coffee ; the digestive organs of confirmed coffee-drinkers 
are in a state of chronic derangement, which reacts on the brain, pro- 
ducing fretful and lachrymose moods. Fine ladies, addicted to strong 
coffee, have a characteristic temper which I might describe as a mania 
for acting the persecuted saint. Chocolate is neutral in its psj'chic 
effects, and is really the most harmless of our fashionable drinks. The 
snappish, petulant humor of the Chinese can with certainty be ascribed 
to their immoderate fondness for tea. Beer is brutalizing, wine im- 
passions, whisky infuriates, but eventually unmans. 

"Alcoholic drinks combined with a flesh and fat diet totally sub- 
jugate the moral man unless their influence be counteracted by violent 
exercise. But with sedentar3' habits they produce those unhappy flesh 
sponges which may be studied in metropolitan bachelor-halls, but better 
yet in wealthy convents. The soul that mav still linger in a fat Austrian 


abbot is functional to his body only as salt is to pork in preventing 
imminent putrefaction." 

Essays on diet gravitate toward the Austrian abbot, it seems. 
But the importance of the three daily meals was indeed wonderfully 
enhanced by the tedium of convent-life. The god Venter, Ulrich Hut- 
ten insinuates, was ever of more consequence to the holy fraternity than 
all the saints of the Roman calendar, and the greatest miracle in their 
estimation is the feeding of the five thousand with five loaves of bread. 
With few exceptions the abbeys and prebendaries of mediaeval Europe 
were strongholds of gluttony, the well-appointed receptacles of the 
viri amplissimi who carved the board of the dinner-table for the recep- 
tion of their ample paunches, and whose faces shone at the aspect of a 
favorite dish as the countenance of Moses on Sinai. Their fasts in Lent 
were really a satire on the bona fide and chronic fasts of the poor ; pas- 
try, puddings, and eel-pies in lieu of the normal venison haunches, and 
butter instead of ham-fat, helped to sweeten the time of penance ; and 
Erasmus mentions the prior of an abbey who instructed his major-domo 
to reduce the accustomed number of dumplings for the sake of Good- 
Friday : " Make only ten to-day," said the pious prelate " but," after 
some reflection, " you can make them a little larger." 

Of what transcendent interest the bill of fare must have been to 
Cardinal Dubois, who called on the dying Fontenelle at his boarding- 
house ! The landlord announcing asparagus for dinner, and asking in- 
structions in regard to the desired sauce, provoked an animated con- 
troversy between the two dogmatists. Fontenelle insisted on cream, the 
Cardinal on melted butter, till the landlord suggested a compromise 
he would divide the material and use a separate sauce for each half. 
But Fontenelle was not destined to eat that dinner his day of life was 
ended by a stroke of apoplexy before the sun had reached the meridian. 
Dubois, who had recognized the sad fact with a paroxysm of grief, then 
rushed to the landing and shouted down the memorable words, "Mettez 
tous au beurre ! " (Butter-sauce for the whole lot !) 

Twenty per cent, of the French revenues were ingulfed by the cui- 
sine of Louis le Grand, and other court kitchens have furnished very 
strong arguments to the opponents of royalty. During the ante- 
Napoleonic era of small German principalities, more than one of those 
" commanders of four faithful square miles " astonished the world by 
selecting a Secretary of the Treasury from his staff of French cooks ; 
but they who wondered did not know what secrets those functionaries 
could have revealed to a committee of ways and means. Peter the 
Great, at his departure from Castle Waldeck, where he had been feasted 
as the guest of the sovereign proprietor for some days, was asked to 
give his opinion of the chateau. " Everything is splendid," replied the 
ingenuous Russian, " only the kitchen is too large." 

Such kitchens and their products have often deserved the attention 
of the historical pragmatist. An indigestible mushroom stew provoked 


King Philip's edict against his Protestant subjects and thus caused the 
revolt of the Netherlands, and the historical eel-pie that extinguished 
the house of the Medici aided the cause of the Reformation more than 
all the armies of Sweden and Brandenburg. Mohammed II., the con- 
queror of Constantinople, we learn from Raumer's history, had an 
attack of gastritis after finishing a highly seasoned dish of broiled liver. 
As a matter of course the responsible cook was put to death at once, 
but the pains and the rage of the Sultan were not appeased, and with 
his own hand he stabbed Demetrius Phranza, his beautiful favorite, son 
of the late chief minister of the fallen Greek Empire. By this barbar- 
ous act he alienated the hearts of his Christian subjects for ever, and 
planted the seeds of that hatred which perhaps at this moment bears 
its harvest on the battle-field of Bulgaria. That dish of sour milk and 
rye-bread which Charles II. had to eat in his haystack after the battle of 
Worcester seems never to have been digested by the house of Stuart, 
though it might have imparted a lesson more useful to the " merry mon- 
arch " than any precept of the Scotch Covenanters. 

Frederick the Great, who proved himself the master spirit of Europe 
by such incontrovertible arguments, was himself mastered by his fond- 
ness for certain French-made dishes, which, according to Dr. Zimmermann, 
shortened his life by at least ten years. One of his odes, addressed to 
Monsieur Noel, his caterer-en-chef dwells rapturously on the merits of a 
peculiar partridge-pie. " Not, though, as if I doubted that such pies 
will send me and you d Venfer" Frederick added in prose after reading 
this production to Noel himself. " I would follow your majesty even 
there," returned the courteous cook, " and it is a consoling circumstance 
that neither of us two is afraid of fire." 

We have no Roman Pollios who chopped up a couple of young slaves 
every week to improve the flavor of their carps ; but it is said of the 
Empress Elizabeth of Russia that during her residence in Moscow she 
caused the death of more than one courier, who had to bring in oysters 
and fresh sea-fish from the coast within a specified time. Domitian, the 
impulsive Imperator, once actually assembled the Roman Senate in spe- 
cial session to vote on the merits of a new sauce which he desired to 
try on a fat specimen of JRhombus maximus, the Mediterranean turbot ! 
^Elius Verus, whose administration of Asia Minor had drained the 
wretched province of all its available cash, spent the produce of his ra- 
pacity in less than four years in his voluptuous retreat of Daphne, or in 
the riots of Antioch, where it is said that a single entertainment, to 
which only about a dozen guests were invited, cost above six million 
sesterces, or nearly $240,500. 

A cook in those times could of ten earn a talent ($1,200) a day, which 
sum, Petronius remarks, would have sufficed to hire a dozen philoso- 
phers for a year. It was the age of complete degeneration of the once 
so frugal Romans, who now tolerated men like Pyttilus, who got an as- 
bestos sheath fitted to his tongue to enable him to swallow the hottest 



dishes and spices with impunity ; or Aristolenus, who longed for the 
throat of a crane, that he might prolong the bliss of deglutition. Taci- 
tus speaks of a particular dish, called the shield of Minerva, the ingre- 
dients of which cost sixty talents ($72,000), and which the ineffable 
Vitellius had at different times prepared at that price an insanity which 
we may hesitate to believe ; but less than a century ago the city of Lon- 
don treated George III. to a banquet of three hundred and fourteen 
" courses," at an expense of twenty-six thousand pounds sterling. 

Opposite the Palais Royal, along the Chaussee d'Antin and on the 
Rue Rivoli, Paris, there are restaurants where a moderate fortune may 
be spent in a single week, and the dejeitners-dinatoires of the Freres 
Provencaux are not forgotten where some piquant made dishes would 
cost more than a year's board in the Faubourg St.-Germain. 

" They offered me an omellette at Fitchburg," says Henry Thoreau, 
" an omellette with fried bacon, at forty-five cents. Not having forty- 
five cents to spare for an indigestion, I bought some bread and butter, 
which, together with the apples I had, made me a fine dinner. We do 
need some fat and farinaceous substance once a day, but, if one can get 
it out of a butter sandwich and ten cents, he commits a crime against 
national economy and against himself if he wastes the fourfold price 
on an omellette and fried bacon. And why commit a further waste by 
calling the thing an o-mel-lette ? Are not the two syllables of a pan- 
cake sufficient ? " 

Whatever may have been the intrinsic value of that pancake, it 
would certainly be worth forty-five cents to know what Henry Thoreau 
would have said about the following menu of a " little lunch," given at 
the Langham Hotel (London) to the members of the Dietary Reform 
Club (society for the introduction of horse-flesh) : 

Potages Consomme de cheval. Puree de destrier. Amontillado. 

Poissons Saumon a la sause arabe. Filets de soles a l'huile hippophagique. 
Vin du RMn. 

Hors<Vceuvres Terrines de foie maigre chevalines. Saueissons de cheval 
aux pistaches syriaques. Xeres. 

Releves Filet de Pegase roti aux pommes de terre a la creme. Dinde aux 
chataignes. Aloyau de cheval farci a la centaure et aux clioux de Bruxelles. 
Culotte de cheval braisee aux chevaux de frise. Champagne sec. 

Entrees Petits pates a la moelle-Bucephale. Kromeskys a. la gladiateur. 
Poulets garnis a rhippogriffe. Langues de cheval ala troyenne. Chateau pe- 


Rots Canards sauvages. Pluviers. Mayonnaises de homard a l'huile de 
Rossinante. Petits pois a la francaise, choux-fleurs au parmesan. Volney. 

Entremets Gelee de pieds de cheval au marasquin. Zephirs sautes a l'huile 
chevaleresque. Gateau veterinaire a la Ducroix. Feuillantines aux pommes 
des Hesperides.- Saint-Peray. 

Glaces Creme aux truffes. Sorbets contre-prejuges. Liqueurs. 

Dessert Vins fins de Bordeaux. Madere. Cafe. 

Buffet Marmalade aukirscb, gateau d'ltalie au fromage de Chester, etc., etc. 


The Langham has been eclipsed by some Regent Street club-rooms, 
if not by Delmonico's, but Paris is still the Mecca of epicures, and even 
during the Prussian siege Baron Brisse would have undertaken to im- 
prove on the above menu. Next, perhaps, comes St. Petersburg with its 
mislanitza and caviare-suppers, then London, New York, and the city 
that derives its name from ham-sandwiches, as Heine suggests. 

The champion belt of Apicius belongs probably to Count Luckner, 
a Russian dignitary of vast estates in the government of Smolensk, 
and for a time ambassador at the court of Vienna, where he left be- 
cause Herr Saphire called him an emotional swill-barrel ! At his 
country seat of Ranzow he is said to receive a daily programme de 
cuisine from his major-domo, which he scrutinizes like the plan of a 
campaign. He is known to have knouted the landlord of a country 
tavern for using lard instead of butter in a dish of cauliBowers, and 
once he nearly broke the heart of his favorite cook by degrading him 
to the rank of dish-washer for a similar offense. " Crying and whining 
will not mend the matter, sir," he told the tearful penitent ; " if you 
had assassinated your gray-haired father, I might call it a perfectly nat- 
ural act : but that you combine raisins and pork in the same ragout, 
you must ask your God to pardon you I can not ! " At a banquet in 
Vienna he was able to indicate the native country of six different kiuds 
of pheasants, but once created a sensation at his hotel by upsetting his 
chair and leaving the table-cVJwte in a towering passion they had em- 
ployed hartshorn instead of yeast in the preparation of a certain vari- 
ety of sponge-cake ! 

Berlin has its Jockey Club and a " Hof-Restauration," and in elabo- 
rate soupers can dispute the prestige of St. Petersburg, but Vienna is 
too gross in its tastes to deserve a place in this list, though to a Hun- 
garian palate its gulasJi (a ragout of broiled mutton) and Kaiser-suppen 
take rank with nectar and ambrosia. Quantity is prized more than 
quality here, as well as in other parts of southern Germany or in Bohe- 
mia, where forty men of a Prussian regiment could successively im- 
personate a Bohemian burgher before anything wrong was suspected. 
During the last occupation of Prague by the North-German troops, the 
legend runs, there was a grand masked ball at the opera-house, in the 
lower story of which a regiment of Prussian dragoons had been quar- 
tered. Somehow or other the soldiers got possession of a domino or 
complete masquerade suit, representing a fat burgomaster in his official 
toggery. An adventurous private donned the suit and gained admit- 
tance to the superas auras of the ballroom, and so on to the refresh- 
ment-hall, where his enterprise was rewarded by all the luxuries of the 
Bohemian season. His return to the guard-room with the tale of tri- 
umph caused a bonanza sensation, but discipline prevailed, and the 
regiment was organized into ten-minute reliefs, who in quick succession 
stormed the works and performed feats of gastronomic daring which 
soon drew a circle of admirers around the refreshment-table. In and 


out rushed the black domino, returning like Antceus with ever-renewed 
strength, it seemed, from a contact with mother earth. The burghers 
of Prague looked on, wondered, admired, and finally broke out into 
enthusiastic applause they began to comprehend ; it was the consist- 
ent, most natural and appropriate acting out of the part which the 
domino required the character role of a fat burgomaster who alter- 
nates his official duties with short calls at a lunch-table and only the 
fortieth call suggested superhuman powers and an investigation of the 

North America, with all its strawberry short-cakes, clam-bakes, and 
railroad restaurants, is perhaps, after all, the land blessed with the most 
natural diet. Healthy food, which is the not-often-used privilege 
of the rich in Europe, abounds on the table of the poor farmer here. 
Our five or six largest cities emulate the vice-centers of the Old World, 
and have not learned yet to sin with grace and long impunity ; but the 
populations of our glorious rural districts, in the valleys of New Eng- 
land, on the Western table-lands, and in the paradise of the Alleghanies, 
live more faithful to nature than any white men since the days of Cin- 
cinnatus, in the golden age of Italy, and in consequence are healthier 
and healthier-looking than any contemporary race, the peasantry of the 
Tyrol and .the Swiss highlands alone excepted. There we meet our 
physical superiors ; but our inferiority is not hopeless, and if we would 
just fry a little less and cook more, and substitute milk for coffee, Vir- 
ginia and Vermont would soon turn out boys to match the prettiest 
Gemsenjiiger of the Alpenland. 

Hoeing corn and wood-chopping make a hoecake with bacon or a 
dish of brown beans more palatable than all the piquanteries of the 
Palais Royal ; and even the hog and hominy of the poor tar-heel squat- 
ter are preferable to the Irish potato-mess or the cabbage and quass 
diet of Panslavonia. Exercise in open air as an aid to eupeptic beati- 
tude ranks above all the " old reliable correctives " from the Paracelsian 
quintessence to Hostetter's bitters. A Persian satrap asked the Spartan 
ambassador for the receipt of the famous black broth of Lycurgus, but 
confessed himself unable to relish it without extra spices. " The spices 
you lack," remarked his guest, " are Spartan gymnastics and a bath in 

In Texas, Arkansas, and the Southwestern Territories, we may find 
habits primitive enough to suit even a Thoreau or an admirer of the 
patriarchal ages. Abraham treated his angels to a souper-dinatoire of 
roast veal, barley-bread, and milk more than the Arkansas traveler 
could count upon at the end of his day's journey. But the air of the 
prairies, Rocky Mountain adventures, or the vicissitudes of a North 
Carolina State road can make the homely symposion of a log-cabin as 
sweet as an evening with Philemon and Baucis. 

It has been remarked that the yearning of homesickness is never 
produced by the recollection of city luxuries, but of rural diet and 


habits, and lonely scenery. I am often reminded of an honest moun- 
taineer from western North Carolina who had found a position in the 
land-office of his State capital. After a session of the State Legisla- 
ture he was standing among the spectators that always attend the arri- 
val or departure of a Southern railway-train. "Look there, Harry ! " 
said his companion, " there are those representatives of yours again, 
going to take the cars back to Marion, I guess. Don't they make you 
feel like taking an up-train yourself sometimes ? " " Well, sir," groaned 
Harry, " I can stand those delegates tolerably enough, but I tell you, if 
I hear them cry out huckleberries in the morning, it makes me feel like 
jumping out of bed and starting for home, sweet home, with my shirt- 
tails flying ! " 

" Alas," sighs Montaigne, " for my own native hills, and a straw- 
berry-patch, autour duquel mon dme n^a jamais eesse Perrerf" May 
they flourish, the strawberries and huckleberries and the Texas pecans, 
the peanuts, chestnuts, and maple-trees, and the Chickasaw plums, may 
they be blessed ! Also all johnny-cakes, corn-dodgers, and Tyrolese 
dumplings, and raspberry puddings, that ever restored health to a stran- 
ger or confirmed it to a native ! " And above all," says Andreas Hofer 
in his last address to his countrymen, " beware lest they smuggle in the 
pottage of Esau with other luxuries of the lowlands ; and let your 
motto be, ' Rye-bread and freedom ! ' " 





WHATEVER that thing, fact, function, or idea which we call 
mind may be, or whether the brain, as is generally believed, is 
or is not its sole organ of manifestation, it is universally admitted that 
varying bodily conditions are accompanied by related variations of 
mental states. Aphasia, insanity, imbecility, are so often found accom- 
panied by certain definite pathological alterations in the b rain-sub- 
stance that they are generally held to be symptomatic of such local 
changes. So, also, though in a more general way, melancholia and de- 
pression, as well as exaltations and excitements of the mind, are known 
to depend largely on corresponding general bodily conditions of re- 
tarded or accelerated physiological processes. 

It is also held, though in a less definite manner, that the health of 
the body may be affected, beneficially or injuriously, by certain states 

* Read before the New York Academy of Sciences, Section of Biology, January 27, 


of the mind, as of hope or despondency. Or, more in detail, medical 
men have observed that certain mental states affect certain functions in 
certain definite ways. As, for instance, sudden anxiety, as of the non- 
arrival of a friend when expected, may cause an increase of the peris- 
taltic action, while prolonged anxiety is apt to cause the contrary effect. 
Joy over good news or at the return of long-absent friends diminishes 
gastric secretion and causes loss of appetite. The feeble hold on life 
of the suicidal,* and the surprising recoveries from serious diseases and 
after apparently fatal injuries, in persons whose mental characteristics 
are hopefulness and determination, are often-recurring facts, familiar 
to all. 

The nature of what we call mind and its relation to the functions of 
the body is a very wide field of inquiry too wide, indeed, for our pres- 
ent consideration. But having had unusually favorable opportunities 
for observing certain phases of psycho-biological relations, I ask your 
attention while I present some studies which may help us, possibly, to 
arrive at more practical results, through more satisfactory explanations 
of certain phenomena, than we have hitherto possessed. So, without 
further preface, I will introduce my subject by giving a striking exam- 
ple of the influence of a simple mental impression as distinguished 
from and as independent of thought, will, or consciousness in control- 
ling the manifestation of function. 

In September, 1876, I received a letter from a prominent physician 
living in a Western city, saying that he, in connection with two other 
medical men, had been treating, unsuccessfully, a case of ununited frac- 
ture of the left thigh-bone ; and he inquired if I thought I could do or 
suggest anything which would lead to its union. The result of some 
correspondence was that, a few weeks afterward, in October, the patient 
presented himself with his father at my office. 

The case was briefly as follows : 

Two years before the young man had met with an accident, and had 
broken his thigh-bone just above the middle. The family doctor pro- 
ceeded to set it and apply the proper dressings. In due course of time 
the fracture united, and the jmtient got about with some shortening of 
the limb, and walked with perfect facility for one year, when, in cross- 
ing the street, he fell and broke the same bone again about four inches, 
so they told me, below the seat of the former fracture. Neither of the 
physicians who had attended him on the previous occasion being in the 
city, a third medical man, a surgeon of national reputation, was called, 
who proceeded to apply the proper bandages for fracture. After that 
the three attended the case conjointly, but no union of the fracture 
could be obtained, they said, though every usual means had been ex- 
hausted to secure it. Such, in brief, was the case as it was presented 
to me. A careful examination revealed two facts. The first was that there 
was no ununited fracture, and the second was that the bone had not 
been broken at the second accident. He was a well-grown, finely formed, 


intellectual young man of about sixteen, and he came in on a single 
crutch, with the left or affected limb swinging limp and wholly useless, 
and when I laid him on his back, and took hold of the leg to examine 
it, I found it utterly resistless to every motion. The muscles were 
wasted, soft, and without tonicity, and, there being a large outward 
bending in the middle of the bone with lapping of more than two 
inches, it would roll about, when touched, like a crooked stick on the 
floor, and it was almost impossible to keep it still long enough to make 
a diagram. The attenuation of the soft parts was so great that the 
bone was easily examined, and no line of union or the slightest evi- 
dence of callus being fert at the seat of the alleged second fracture, 
and being assured that one of the remarkable things in the case was 
that there had never been any callus, I concluded that the bone had not 
been fractured at the last injury. There was no doubt that an unfrac- 
tured bone had been hastily put in splints, and for a year, and up to 
that time, three eminent men had been devising and using various 
splints for securing apposition of a fracture which did not exist. That 
it did not exist is proved by the fact that three days after his arrival 
he was walking on that leg. 

The explanation of this case is exceedingly simple : he thought he 
had refractured his femur at the second accident. This impression 
caused him instinctively and quite unconsciously to withhold muscular 
action in that limb that is, he did what he ought to have done if the 
limb had been fractured. It was the completeness of the control over 
the muscles, the utter restraint of all muscular action, causing the to- 
tally relaxed and powei'less condition, which was mistaken for a broken 
bone. Of course, the trouble was purely mental. But it was not a 
condition of mind of which he was in the slightest degree conscious. 
He was not aware of the fact that he was restraining the muscles from 
acting during this long time ; so effectually restraining them that all 
spontaneity was destroyed by a direct and positive effort of the will. 
He held his limb in a mental vise of such force and persistency that its 
nutrition was interfered with, and it was wasted to the last degree. 
And yet he did not know it. There was no shamming. His condition 
\vas a great distress to him. He was also at an age when male persons 
are the least liable to morbid sentiments. At any rate, I could find 
none in his case. A mere explanation of his condition was not suffi- 
cient to enable him to relax his mental hold en the limb. The mental 
impression subordinated his will and the ordinary desire. His treat- 
ment consisted in providing situations which would assist him to let go 
of his leg. I caused him to take certain violent exercises with his 
upper extremities. The intention was to make them so violent that 
his whole attention would be required for the upper, and there would 
be none left for the lower extremity. The plan succeeded. Within 
three days he gave up restraining the limb let go of it ; in fact, spon- 
taneity was restored, and he began to walk ; began involuntarily, and 


without being conscious of it, as he was not conscious of restraining it 
at and after the second injury. 

In this, as in all such cases, accepting by the patient of the opinion 
that the power exists, is not sufficient to restore the member to use. 
It is very important to secure the intelligent cooperation of the patient, 
and instructing him by careful explanations goes far in assisting to 
arrange the circumstances which tend to restore the normal condition. 
But simply to know and understand the mental nature of the case is 
not enougli to establish control, because it is not the intelligence prin- 
cipally which is at fault, but there is a modification of what may be 
called mental timbre, coloring the thoughts and all mental operations, 
which, in my estimation, is the quality with which we have to deal in this 
class of phenomena. Dr. Elsberg has used the word timbre to indicate 
the quality of a compound sound, and I use the word in an analogous 
manner to indicate a certain quality of the mind as a whole, as distin- 
guished from separate mental attributes. Further illustrations will make 
this quality of the mind perfectly clear, as well as show that it is through 
this timbre that the mind makes its potent impressions on the organism. 

A young lady was brought to me six years ago for what was sup- 
posed to be paralysis of the left lower extremity. She had lost the use 
of that limb eighteen months before, and, since that time, she had got 
about entirely on crutches. I immediately recognized the mental char- 
acter of the affection, and adopted the following plan in order to differ- 
entiate between the conscious and the unconscious volitions : After a 
preliminary examination the day before, I called at her room while she 
was lying on the bed. Requesting her to remain lying, I engaged her 
in conversation with the intention of absorbing her entire interest. In 
this I so far succeeded that when I put my hand below her right foot 
and began to force it upward, she only remarked that that w r as the 
wrong limb, and immediately returned her attention to the story I was 
telling. When I had pressed it upward enough to bend the knee, I 
asked her to stretch it down again, which she did, repeating the move- 
ment several times without paying any particular attention to what I 
was doing. After making several pretty vigorous efforts to straighten 
the limb against some resistance from my hand below the foot, I quietly 
seized the foot of the affected side, and thus both feet were carried up- 
ward together, coming down together also. After several such move- 
ments, I began to feel distinct muscular action in the affected member, 
and, after it had become somewhat vigorous, I quietly let go my hold 
on the well foot, after which she continued to draw up and push down 
the affected limb as vigorously as she had just before done with the 
well one. I was successful in holding her attention to my story, so 
that she had at most but a dim consciousness, if any at all, of what I 
was doing. I then recalled her attention to her lower extremities, and 
requested her to push the left foot down, after I had pushed it up, but 
she could not make the slightest motion with it. 


I say she could not, because, though there was power in the muscles, 
there was no consciousness of power, and thus there could be no voli- 

The plan of securing an unconscious volition is often verv useful 
and sometimes indispensable in determining questions of diagnosis 
growing^ out of mental influence over function. The following incident 
occurred within the last few weeks : A young lady nineteen years old 
was sent to me from Albany for what was supposed to be partial paraly- 
sis of the left foot and ankle. She had been affected during the past 
three years, and was so far disabled that she could not walk more than 
a block or two without danger of falling, and she actually did fall very 

The exciting cause, or that which called her attention to her foot, 
was the alleged slipping of the tendon of the peroneus longus muscle 
where it passes under the outer ankle-bone. She had no theory, fancy, 
or any other sentiment regarding her lameness whatever. She simply 
dropped her toes when walking, and was obliged to lift that limb very 
high to advance the foot and prevent stumbling. When, in examining 
her, I asked her to raise the foot, she was unable to do so. The muscles 
moving the ankle-joint were powerless. She was very simple-minded, 
and would try to do whatever I asked of her. So, making an excuse 
to get off her shoes and stockings, and keeping her attention while 
gradually working myself across the room, I suddenly asked her to 
come toward me, being careful to keep her eyes on me instead of her 
feet. The floor is of hard wood, and without covering, except a bear- 
skin rug in front of where she sat. The hair tickled* her feet, and she 
came to me with toes elevated and walking on her heels. I then called 
her attention to the fact that she had bent her ankles to keep her bare 
feet from contact with the floor, and asked her to bend them again 
while looking at them. But she could not do it. I found means, how- 
ever, to relieve the mental impression which interfered so effectually 
with the autonomy of locomotion, consciousness of power in the affected 
foot was restored, and, after having been lame for three years, she went 
home, within ten days, in a natural state. 

But unconscious mental interference with the muscles is to be seen 
not only in loss of muscular power. Increased muscular action, simu- 
lating muscular spasm, may have a mental cause. This may be illus- 
trated by a case. In the spring of 1864 a lad}', about thirty-eight 
years old, unmarried, presented herself with a lame shoulder. Three 
weeks before, as she raised her right arm to turn the slats of the shut- 
ters, she felt a sharp pain in the shoulder. It may have been due to a 
somewhat energetic contraction of certain muscular fibers, such as 
most of us occasionally experience without any impression being left 
on the mind, but which in her case left a lasting effect. 

I did not understand the true mental character of the difficulty, and 
the consequence was, that I got into a great deal of trouble before I 


<rot through with the case. But it was all the more instructive on ac- 
count of my ignorance, as will be seen in its relation ; so I give the case 
more in detail than is necessary in most of these illustrations. 

I found her with the right shoulder drawn forcibly upward, firmly 
fixed in that position, and very sensitive to handling. Supposing that 
it might be a sprain, and not wishing to treat such cases, 1 recom- 
mended her to apply to the late Dr. E. R. Peaslee, which she did. 
One year from the first visit she reappeared in a very sad plight indeed. 
I found the shoulder drawn up still higher than before, and so firmly 
fixed that the elbow could not be removed from the side of the body 
more than three or four inches. She looked haggard and worn out, 
and she reported her sufferings as having been and being very intense. 
The history intervening between the two visits was, that Dr. Peaslee 
had given her some liniments, and, after a while, seeing that she did 
not regain the use of her arm, he sent her to a professional " rubber," 
who had used a great deal of disagreeable, violent, and painful manipu- 
lation. Finding herself becoming steadily worse, at the end of a year 
she had returned to me. I immediately sought Dr. Peaslee, and to- 
gether we made a new examination. We found the large pectoral 
muscle shortened and enlarged to twice its natural size, and the arm 
so firmly bound down that it was with difficulty that she got her cloth- 
ing on. After several consultations, we resolved to etherize her and 
endeavor to stretch the shortened muscles. The plan was, to make an 
apparatus which should hold the muscles we were to stretch, under 
ether, in an extended position, for a certain length of time, and thus 
relax them. The operation was accordingly performed, and all the 
force consistent with safety to the bone was used, but without ap- 
preciable effect in relaxing the great pectoral muscle. The operation 
was therefore abandoned as a failure. We then considered the pro- 
priety of dividing the tendon of the great pectoral ; but, as that was 
a novel suggestion, a consultation was called, Dr. A. C. Post, of this 
city, and the late Dr. Alden March, of Albany, being the surgeons se- 

The lady had come under the influence of ether with difficulty, and 
was very much prostrated by it ; so that it was over one month after 
the attempted stretching of the muscle before the consultation was held 
at the lady's house in Brooklyn. The lady was still in bed, but, after 
explaining the case, she was got up, when, to our utter astonishment, 
we found the muscles completely relaxed and the arm perfectly free to 
move in every direction. Exactly three years after these events, this 
lady's brother called on me one evening, saying that he had just made 
an appointment with Dr. Peaslee who was on the eve of starting for 
Europe to meet me at his sister's house the next evening for the pur- 
pose of operating on her other arm, which had in the mean time, he 
said, become affected precisely as the right arm had previously been. 
It had been affected for a year, but his sister had kept the fact to her- 


self, and it had only come out when she could conceal it no longer, the 
arm having become useless. Supposing that, somehow, the first opera- 
tion had been the cause of the cure, we repaired to the house as re- 
quested, and, after Dr. Peaslee had etherized her, I operated by stretch- 
ing: the contracted muscles. I found the shoulder in much the same 
plight as the other had been three years before, though the muscles 
were not quite so rigid, and I could overcome them without much diffi- 
culty. But the shoulder-joint had been held in an immovable position 
so long that the articulating surfaces had become united by bands of 
fibrous adhesions in various places, and the snapping of these adhesions, 
as they were torn asunder when the arm was moved about in different 
directions, made reports which could be heard at a considerable dis- 
tance. But the muscles were completely relaxed by the operation, mo- 
tion was restored to the joint, and we congratulated ourselves on hav- 
ing made no mistake and having had a successful case this time. Thus 
she was left Peaslee going to Europe, and I about my business. Just 
one month afterward I was requested to visit the lady. I found that 
she had been prostrated by the anaesthetic as before, but that her arm 
and shoulder were in exactly the same situation as before the operation. 
Not the slightest benefit had been experienced from it. The shoulder 
was drawn up and immovable, the arm was held firmly to the side, and 
that extremity was entirely helpless and useless. 

It was evident that the mystery of the case had not been fathomed, 
and I requested her to come to my house so that I might study it. To 
this suggestion she readily assented, and for the next few weeks I was 
vainly striving to find remedies for a state of things which I could not 
comprehend, and to locate a disease which had no existence. At the 
end of a month, and after calling a well-known surgeon to my assist- 
ance without avail, I resolved to try another operation hy force brisee. 
Laughing-gas was being used in minor operations at that time, and, as 
ether made her so very sick, I resolved to use the nitrous oxide. This 
was administered twice with an interval of four days, when the muscles 
relaxed, motion was restored to the shoulder-joint, and there has been 
no recurrence of the condition described during the intervening thirteen 
years. A case precisely similar to the foregoing was brought to me 
two years later. 

Still under the impression that the force used in the former case 
had, in some mysterious manner, been the means of cure, and conclud- 
ing that nitrous oxide was the most favorable anaesthetic, I set to work 
to cure this case according to such views. After seven entirely suc- 
cessful operations there was not the least improvement in my patient, 
and I concluded that I had again mistaken the case. I kept her under 
observation several months, attempting various means, experimentally, 
which were of no avail, when, on a careful review of this and many 
other similar cases, I at last came to the conclusion that the whole dif- 
ficulty was mental and only mental. Having settled the question of 


diagnosis, I sought an interview with this lady and explained my views 
to her. In plain language I told her that she was holding the arm 
down by direct though unconscious volition, and that all she had to do 
was to let go her mental hold on the muscles controlling the movements 
of the affected shoulder. At first she was a little startled, but I told 
her to think of it overnight and tell me in the morning if, with the aid 
of my explanations and the facts of her own and other cases which I 
related to her, she would not arrive at the same conclusion. She re- 
turned the next day, saying that she was convinced that I was right ; 
that she was sure that, through dread of the pain which she anticipated, 
if she allowed the shoulder-joint to move, she was holding it by main 
force. She knew and believed all this, but still she had not the power 
to relax her mental hold on the muscles of the shoulder. To assist her 
in this I adopted the following plan : I caused her to recline in an easy 
position, while I stood behind her and took both her hands, the arms 
bending at the elbows. I made not the least traction on the hands, but 
simply held them for the purpose of directing and controlling her atten- 
tion. My requirement was to raise both arms into the upright position, 
that is, to extend the arms over the head, but not to raise the right, 
which was free, any faster than she did the left, which she was holding 
down in close contact with the body. The object was to cause her to 
give her attention to and absorb her thoughts and interest in the right 
and unaffected arm, so as to enable her to relax her hold on the left and 
affected shoulder. The expedient was successful. She did let go her 
arm, and within a week she had entirely relaxed the muscles about the 
left shoulder, and regained complete use and control of the previously 
rigid joint. 

I have seen every joint in the body relaxed or stiffened by mental 
influence, often disastrously so when no aid came to them sometimes 
relaxed and stiffened by turns ; but I introduce illustrations from cases 
where these peculiar manifestations have happened at the shoulder, first 
because they are typical cases, and secondly because I fancy they might 
be more likely to escape the possible suggestion that, after all, there 
might have been some organic lesion involved in the cases. We cer- 
tainly do have the same mental influences complicating organic diseases 
of the joints. But my object, at this time, is to exclude such cases as 
can justly be subject to such an imputation. Of course, after once un- 
derstanding the true condition of things, it is easy to see that the only 
influence of the respective operations of force brisee, in these cases, was 
on the patient's mind. In the first case, while she was lying weak and 
prostrate from the effects of the anaesthetic, she forgot her shoulder and 
simply let go of it. That was all. In the next operation, three years 
afterward, on the other shoulder, there was less novelty calculated to 
engage and keep her attention, and the rupturing of the adhesions which 
had sprung up in consequence of prolonged loss of motion was sufficient 
to maintain her interest in the joint, so that her attention failed to be 


diverted. But the circumstances attending the operations with the 
lauo-hingr-sras were again calculated to absorb the attention in other 


directions and thus divert it from the shoulder. The result was the 
immediate relaxation of the muscles involved in maintaining the shoul- 
der in a fixed position. In the absence of any local disease which could 
cause local irritation and reflex muscular contraction, this must have 
been kept up by direct volition. An important evidence of its volun- 
tary character, besides that which is afforded by the prompt relaxation 
through opposite mental influence, was the immediate and very great im- 
provement in the patient's general health. She was, in fact, completely 
exhausted by a labor which she was not conscious of doing, but when 
she ceased this continuous effort she at once improved in strength. 
The same improvement in the general health, but in an even more 
marked degree, was manifested in the second case above related. 

Adult life is not alone liable to the class of mental influences which 
we are now discussing. Young persons and even quite small children 
are frequent subjects for psycho-biological study. 

But mental influence over bodily function is exhibited not alone in 
connection with the muscles in determining their relaxation or rigidity, 
in certain cases; but what are called bodily sensations are even more 
dominated by the mental timbre of the individual. We have local and 
general hyperesthesias and anaesthesias both as transient and as per- 
manent conditions from this cause. I feel obliged to employ phrases as 
they are employed in common use, but, strictly speaking, there are no 
bodily sensations, for all sensation is mental there is and can be no 
other. The most that we can strictly say is that we feel in the mind, 
but refer the cause of such feeling to certain locations in the body. 
Stick a pin in my flesh, and whether I feel it or not, and how much I 
may feel it, will depend wholly on the state of my mind. If obscured 
by an anaesthetic or if asleep, provided the impinging on the nerves 
is not sufficient to waken me, or even if my attention be very much 
absorbed, I shall not be conscious of the pricking. On the other 
hand, if I have been pricked before so that my fears are aroused, or 
if I am worried or weary or ill, then the pain is many hundred times 
greater than under the opposite circumstances. We go to a dentist 
one day when we are in a hurry, and with the mind troubled about some 
matter. The drilling of his little instrument is agony. We leave and 
return the next day with plenty of time, and our business settled. The 
dentist drills still deeper into the same cavity while we sit in com- 
parative comfort. 

But not only the same person has different degrees of sensation at 
different times, according to his mental timbre at the time, but different 
individuals and different classes of persons feel both pleasures and pains 
more or less according to their individual or class elevation in the intel- 
lectual scale. If a knife were thrust into the flesh, in corresponding 
locations and to the same depth, in twenty people, no two would feel 


the incision to the same degree, and the difference in sensations would 
be simply the difference of mental constitutions, that is, it would be 
wholly mental. So of classes. The child of the widow, Bridget 
Murphy, who lives in a back alley and goes out to work by the day, 
leaving her children at home with nothing to stimulate the mind, does 
not feel the same amount of pain from the pressure of an instrument 
which is applied for disease of the hip-joint, which he has got in falling 
down stairs, as the child reared among the excitements of a cultivated 
home, with pictures and toys, the circus and menagerie, dogs and horses, 
and the society of cultivated adults to stimulate mental activity. While 
the widow's son can hardly talk at five years old, the other, by aid of 
French and German nurses, speaks three languages at the same age. 
But when he falls on the ice and gets hip-disease, his sufferings corre- 
spond to his mental rather than to his bodily condition, and his pains, 
like his pleasures, are as much greater than those of the first-mentioned 
child as his mind is more active and thus more susceptible. To con- 
tinue the illustration, the instrument worn by the child intellectually 
low down may, by the mother's ignorance and neglect, become buried 
in the flesh, with slight murmur, compared to the distress caused by a 
crumb of bread or a wrinkle in the linen under the points of pressure 
in the mentally active child. Mental susceptibility corresponds closelv 
with mental activity, so that so-called bodily sensibility must correspond 
closely again with mental activity. And we find this to be the case. 
What is said to be Indian fortitude, when they tear their flesh in some 
of their rites, is simply brutishness. They do not feel in the same de- 
gree that we should under the same circumstances. And, on the other 
hand, the cultured and aesthetic should comprehend, more than they do, 
that an increased capacity for painful sensations is the direct result and 
the constant accompaniment of the refinements of civilization, and that 
to suffer is inevitable along with the pleasurable emotions, which con- 
stitute at once the compensation and the charm of the higher civilized 

An illustration or two of the mental production of hyperesthesia 
and it is the same with anaesthesia will suffice for this part of our 

It should be remembered that each case represents a class of cases, 
and is not simply an isolated and phenomenal instance of a curious 
manifestation. Many cases of lameness of the ankle-joint are produced 
by, or, strictly speaking, exist only in, the mind, as, for instance, the 
following among many others : 

An unmarried lady of thirty called on me for advice with reference 
to a foot and ankle which she had not been able to use during the three 
and a half years preceding. There was a history of some slight injury, 
with periods of improvement during the first six months of her lameness, 
but with a final loss of ability to use it on account of its exceeding pain- 
fulness at every attempt to bear her weight upon it, and she had been 

VOL. XT.- 


for that length of time on crutches. The foot and ankle were very thin, 
cold, and clammy, and even very gentle manipulation caused consider- 
able pain. I could not make out, from all the history which I could 
gather from the lady herself, with the help of her sister, who accom- 
panied her, that the so-called injury had been at all serious, and I con- 
cluded that what had been supposed a serious injury to the ankle had 
simply been a circumstance which had established a condition of appre- 
hension in regard to that locality. 

A careful examination satisfied me that the lameness was in the 
mind, referring to the foot and ankle, but without any sufficient injury 
of the parts referred to to cause lameness. It was therefore the mind 
rather than the foot and ankle which ought to be treated, and it was 
the mind which I did treat, with success. There was no excessive fear 
here, as there is in many cases, but simply pain on using the foot. Of 
course there was the misapprehension with regard to the nature of the 
case, and correcting this misapprehension was one important element 
in treatment. But such correction only put her en rapport with her 
treatment, but did not alter the fact that it did hurt to bear weight on 
the foot. In such cases it is important to give some time for the emo- 
tions to adjust themselves to what the intelligence accepts on the sub- 
ject. In the mean time something was given her to do, some uses of 
the foot which would fall far short of attaining the point of pressure or 
motion which her experience had shown would or might be painful ; 
that is, she was required to never approach the point where she had 
been accustomed to expect to be hurt. Thus the element of expectancy 
was gradually lessened, and finally eliminated entirely, so that in a few 
weeks she could walk as well as ever. This was twelve years ago. She 
has never had a relapse, and is perfectly well to-day. This is one of 
the classes of cases out of which the so-called " bone-setters" make so 
much capital. 

The foot, ankle, knee, and hip joints are all frequently referred to 
when there is no organic affection at the point indicated by the mental 
impression, and I might go on almost indefinitely relating instances, if 
time permitted. But it may be sufficient to indicate the frequency of 
disturbed psycho-biological relations to say that I estimate that not less 
than one half of all cases applying to me for relief from joint affections 
belong to the class under discussion. 

Before lea\ mg this aspect of the subject I think I ought to mention 
the case of a little girl living in Williamsburgh, who, when she was about 
three years old, saw a very lame child in the street one day, a patient 
of mine, and when she returned home her family were surprised to find 
her lame. The patient the child saw was affected by paralysis, but, 
curiously enough, the child's lameness simulated disease of the hip- 
joint. Paralysis could not be well imitated. I was consulted some two 
years after the first appearance of the lameness, and her attending 
physician, the late Dr. Brady, of Williamsburgh, gave me the history of 


her case and the treatment which he had pursued. I had pronounced 
the lameness mental before I knew of the circumstance which this 
physician related to me. A surgeon celebrated as a joint-doctor was 
consulted soon after the lameness was discovered, who pronounced it a 
case of hip-joint disease. She was treated by confinement and exten- 
sion, the weight and pulley being used for the latter purpose. The 
limb, which had been drawn up very much, quickly came down to its 
natural position, and, after three months of this treatment, finding eve- 
rything right, no pain on motion, the limb straight out, etc., the case 
was considered cured, and the doctor asked some of his friends, brother 
physicians, to see her put on to her feet and attest the remarkable cure. 
So, after they were assembled, the bandages were taken off and she 
was put on the floor and told to walk across the room. " You can im- 
agine my surprise and disgust," said he, in telling me the story, " to see 
her go across the room with the leg drawn up precisely as it was before, 
and without any change whatever in the amount of deformity or her 
manner of walking." This child has been brought to me from time to 
time during the past twelve years, but I have alwaj's refused to accept 
the case as one of disease of the hip-joint. Just one year ago I ex- 
amined her for the last time. She was then fourteen years old, and 
anxious to get her leg down. It had been drawn up since she was 
three years of age. The hip-joint was in perfect condition, and the 
only reason why she couldn't walk as other persons do was the shorten- 
ing of the flexor muscles due to the persistent, drawn-up position. The 
growth had been retarded somewhat, because it had been used less 
forcibly. But no injury had been done to the hip-joint. 

This child was so young when the affection first appeared that it 
was never made out what were the particular sensations which influ- 
enced the volition in the way they did. 

It is necessarily more easy to get demonstrations and illustrations 
of the various influences of the mind over the sensations and the volun- 
tary muscular actions than of the involuntary processes of life. But it 
must not be supposed that sensation and motion are alone influenced 
or dominated, as the case may be, by mental states, for it is possible 
that involuntary processes are even more under the same influence. To 
a certain and very positive extent they certainly are. To merely men- 
tion the phenomena of blushing, pallor, palpitation, shivering, sea-sick- 
ness, etc., suggests effects on the involuntary functions which are so 
common as to be almost overlooked in enumerations of kindred exam- 
ples. But that the influence of certain sentiments on certain involun- 
tary functions is very potent and positive is well illustrated in the fol- 
lowing case : 

A lady friend of mine had for some years been speaking to me, as I 
met her socially from time to time, with regard to the condition of one 
of her daughters. Otherwise a healthy young lady of about twenty-four 
years of age, she had had, all her adult life, the one trouble of inveter- 


ate constipation. The most powerful medicines in exceptionally large 
doses failed to produce more than the most meager effects, until at last 
her condition became alarming. At this juncture they put her under 
my direct professional care. But nothing that I could do seemed 
to have the slightest effect on her in ameliorating her condition. As 
she lived in my family, I had every opportunity to observe her, and 
after a while my attention was attracted to the fact that, in making my 
inquiries as to how she felt, she never seemed to know anything about 
it. In fact, she would deny having any sensations of any kind what- 
ever. I would sometimes see her, while in the family circle, put her 
hand to her back or to some other part of her body, acting as if she 
had a sharp pain there. But, even when I made immediate inquiries, 
she would invariably deny that she had felt any pain whatever. At 
length circumstances supervened which made me positive that condi- 
tions existed which, in any ordinary person, would cause the sensation 
of pain. But she denied any such sensation. At last, after three 
months of fruitless effort to relieve her, I made up my mind that this 
was a case the reverse of the more common result of civilized exist- 
ence. Her mind, instead of being too firmly centered on some organ or 
function, was too much withdrawn from the ordinary phenomena con- 
nected with existence. In a word, she was suffering from not perceiv- 
ing, and thus not knowing and heeding, the natural monitions. Having 
come to a correct diagnosis of the case, I explained very carefully all 
the facts, and gave her minute directions calculated to assist her in 
fixing and keeping her attention upon her bodily functions till tbey 
should respond to the mental stimulus thus restored to them. The re- 
sult was that, within two days, by the mere change of sentiment re- 
garding a certain function, that function, which during not less than fif- 
teen years had been wellnigh suspended, was immediately stimulated to 
full activity. I impressed her mind with the belief that certain results 
would happen by following the directions which I gave her for the pur- 
pose. This was eleven years ago, and this lady told me only a few 
months ago that she has remained in perfect health, so far as the func- 
tion in question is concerned, during the whole time. 

Heretofore I have adduced such cases only as were clearly uncom- 
plicated with organic disease, and generally where there had been some 
exciting cause to determine the special location of the mental inter- 

When I say "exciting cause," I mean, of course, some circumstance 
or event which is calculated to fix the attention and make a mental im- 
pression. But, in the majority of instances, no such " exciting cause " 
is traceable. It generally simply happens that the subject finds him- 
self with certain abridgments or apparent exaltations of the pur- 
turbed function, without being able to trace the event which deter- 
mined the character and location of the mental influence. It is highly 
probable that in most cases there have been circumstances which have 


led directly to the result as seen, but which have made no impression 
on the patient's memory. Still, it seems probable also that there may 
be mental influences excessively manifested over particular organs and 
functions, which are determined by purely subjective causes and with- 
out the intervention of external circumstance. Be that as it may, it 
seems to be necessary that there should be a certain preparation a 
sort of condition precedent in the mind which makes it liable to ab- 
normal manifestations. Mental influence over bodily function is in it- 
self a constant and therefore a normal condition of existence. But one 
of the products of civilization is to exalt the mental into a too pre- 
ponderating influence. In that exaltation the mind easily becomes 
hyper-susceptible. It takes on, with abnormal facility, a timbre of 
which it is not itself conscious, but which tends to modify biological 
relations in the way, among others, which I have to a certain extent 
illustrated in the preceding pages. 

Now, there are various circumstances which favor modifications of 
psycho-biological relations, but which do not themselves directly cause 
them. Among those most frequently coming under professional recog- 
nition, hysteria may be instanced as a potent influence ; but, in the 
light of the facts in my experience, it is incorrect to speak of the hys- 
terica] foot or the hysterical stomach or knee. We have the phenomena 
exhibited in both sexes, in children of tender years and in men and 
women in advanced life. Hysteria, or, more properly, imperfect sexual 
hygiene in both male and female, by perturbing the system, does pro- 
duce a condition favoring modifications of the mental states ; but the 
phenomena under consideration are not themselves hysterical. Any 
thing or any influence and they are many which can increase the 
mental tension and impressionability beyond a certain normal standard, 
will produce a modification of the timbre such as we see exemplified 
in so many instances. Besides the peculiar cases given as illustrations, 
there is a large class of what are called " simulated diseases," persons 
with local sensations or pains which do not arise from or represent cor- 
responding local diseases. These can not have even a passing allusion 
here. Time also prevents me from entering into a discussion of the 
important subject of mental influence on actual disease, even if that 
aspect of my subject did not more properly belong to the medical de- 
partment of biolog}\ Suffice it here to say that, as must be inferred 
from the facts and arguments already adduced, no system of therapeu- 
tics can be complete which does not embrace the design of controlling 
psycho-biological relations in general, and with reference to chronic dis- 
ease especially. 

From the foregoing presentation, several important and practical 
deductions may be drawn : 

1. Mental culture, while it brings more physical pleasure, brings 
also increased bodily susceptibility. 

2. Pain, at least that which we are now considering, is but an in- 


creased degree of sensation, which, in ordinary measure, is either not 
noticed or pleasurable. 

3. Sensations called pains should not be mistaken for, confounded 
with, or be considered the measure of disease, even when accompanied 
by it. 

4. All sensations, including unpleasant sensations or pains, repre- 
sent mental qualities only, and these always correspond, no matter what 
the exciting cause, with the capacity of the mind to be impressed ; that 
is, with its rapidity and force of action. 

Lastly, the individual is generally incapable of correctly estimating 
the subjective value of his own sensations, whatever character they may 

Intimately connected with, and in fact growing out of, the subject 
of the influence of mental timbre over the functions of the body, are 
many interesting questions of mental ethics which, it seems to me, 
ought to be studied from a somewhat different point of view than that 
from which they are commonly regarded. 

As we have seen that bodily functions may be profoundly modified 
under unconscious mental influence, so it will be found, when carefully 
analyzed, that the product of the mental operations themselves may be 
likewise modified, under peculiar subjective influences, without arousing 
the consciousness. In a word, the mind may be in a condition of what 
we may, illustratively, call mental allotropism, during which the laws 
ordinarily controlling mental operations seem to be reversed, with cor- 
responding products of intellection. 

A case in point is now attracting altogether more attention than it 
deserves, or would receive, if properly understood. It is stated in the 
newspapers that there is a young lady living in our neighboring city of 
Brooklyn who, among other surprising things which she does or omits 
to do, has not eaten any food or taken any nourishment during the past 
nine years. It is claimed, on the one hand, that this lady is a perfectly 
truthful person, with a highly endowed moral sense, intelligent, kind, 
benevolent, and shrinking from notoriety, and that her statements ought 
to be taken as conclusive in regard to the facts. The absence of any 
motive for propagating an unprofitable, ridiculous falsehood is held as 
confirmatory of her allegations. On the other hand, it is as stoutly 
maintained that she is an arrant impostor, whose sole purpose is to 
acquire a transient notoriety ; and the non-acceptance of various tests, 
proposed to substantiate or disprove her statements, is adduced as evi- 
dence of the fraud attempted. Now I think we shall see that, in the 
light of inferences from what has preceded, neither party to this con- 
trovers} r is wholly right or altogether wrong. While it can not for a 
moment be admitted that a person can live nine years, or any number 
of years, without food, yet it would be contrary to related facts, and 
illogical, to assume that she intends to deceive. It is quite within the 
possibilities that this lady believes that she does not eat. And yet she 


must necessarily take food. There can be no doubt of that. Let us 
draw a few parallels, and see how easily such cases are explained by 
very ordinary and accepted facts. Every physician has had cases of 
persons who asserted that they did not sleep at all for long seasons at 
a time, while the fact was that such persons did actually sleep a good 
deal, as proved by being seen asleep, and by the fact that they did not 
suffer in health, as they must have done if sleep had been entirely ab- 
sent. But these persons, while asserting that which was not true con- 
cerning an important matter, did not intend to falsify. They simply 
stated what they believed to be true. Their mental condition was such 
that they did not feel the impression which sleep ordinarily makes on 
the consciousness. They slept, but, having no impression of sleep, they 
asserted that they did not sleep. They could not, with the only evi- 
dence which they possessed, the absence of any mental impression of 
having slept, assert otherwise. There are other persons who, under 
certain states of mind, say that they eat almost nothing at all " not 
enough to keep a bird alive " while, as a matter of fact, they do eat 
very well, sometimes even heartily. We see them eat enough to main- 
tain them well nourished, and yet they assert that they do not eat 
enough for the bodily requirements. Again, the difficulty lies, not in 
the fact of eating, nor in any desire to falsify, but in the fact that, in 
their peculiar mental condition, their eating, though seen by others and 
by themselves, makes no impression on their minds. They state, not 
what is true, but what they feel to be true. To recur to the more 
typical class : 

A lady, who was at once the daughter of one physician and the 
sister of another, lost the use of one limb soon after a slight attack of 
sore-throat. She got about on crutches for nearly a year, and when 
summer came she went into the country, where she grew stout and was 
in perfect bodily health, joyfully anticipating a speedy return to her 
home in the city with restored powers. But suddenly the other limb 
gave out, and she was brought helpless back. After I had examined 
her I knew that she had all the power in her limbs which she had ever 
had, but that did not make me think that she was intending to deceive 
me when she asserted that she had no power to stand. Her statement 
was contrary to the fact, but she had to express that which she felt to 
be the fact. The parallel goes even further than this. 

This person did use her limbs more or less in certain ways, and 
under certain circumstances. But that fact made no impression on her 
consciousness, as against the stronger impression of entire want of 
power in her limbs. And so it is in all of the cases of perverted and 
abnormal mental timbre, when this condition has passed a certain boun- 
dary. The words spoken and the things done are dominated by the 
paramount influence on, and take their quality and coloring from, the 
predominating mental state of the subjects of it. 

Nevertheless, while the mental timbre is an independent condition, 


it does not prevent the introduction of moral qualities also. A person 
may lose the use of a member, for instance, through loss of conscious- 
ness of power in that member, and at the same time she may have so 
much pleasure in the sympathy which the disability excites in those 
around her as to prefer to be lame or bedridden. Confinement, from 
any cause, is more apt to be demoralizing than elevating, at the best, 
and it is not strange that a certain number of bedridden cases should, 
more through the ignorance and want of tact of those around them 
than original desire to deceive, form the habit of, first, making the most 
of their infirmities to increase sympathy, and, finally, come to exagger- 
ate and to falsify ; thus they pave the way to becoming the instruments 
of their own and others' craving to be considered phenomenal. And it 
may well be, and circumstances seem to establish, that the Brooklyn 
case alluded to has arrived at that point now. I only insist that it is 
not logically necessary, in similar cases, to assume intentional deception 
from the beginning, nor, in many cases, at any time can this be right- 
fully asserted. 

It will be observed that I have not used the word " imagination " in 
connection with the phenomena under consideration. I have not used 
that term, because it does not apply to the facts. Imagination is an 
attribute of the mind, an important but wholly distinct mental faculty. 
But it is not the whole mind, neither does it represent a special condi- 
tion of the mind. The imagination is often given full play in many of 
these cases, and undoubtedly assists in producing that mental state 
which ultimately ends in mental allotropism. But, however conspicuous 
the imagination may be in such a case, its only importance consists in 
being one of the many factors tending to produce a certain definite re- 
sult, which, when reached, is not imagination nor the direct product of 
the imagination. I speak of this because I think a great deal of harm 
has been done by the use of this word. It is employed, generally, as if 
the use of it carried some explanation, and it is understood by the sub- 
jects as casting some imputation. Besides, abnormal mental timbre, 
productive of positive effects on the organism, is quite as apt to be 
manifested in certain wholly unimaginative persons as in the imagina- 
tive. The most marked cases which have come under my observation 
have been those of persons whose characteristics have been strong com- 
mon sense and self-forgetfulness. 





THE houses of the New Guinea people are somewhat different in 
different localities, but the most general type is that found at 
Dorey Harbor. There is here a considerable village of large houses 
built on piles in the water in the usual Malay style, and houses similarly 
raised on posts (but loftier) are found on the hills some miles inland. 
Each of these houses is large and accommodates several families, and 
they are connected by continuous platforms of poles and bamboos, often 
so uneven and shaky that a European can with difficulty walk on them. 
A considerable space separates this platform'from the shore, with which, 
however, it is connected by narrow bridges formed of one or two bam- 
boos, supported on posts, and capable of being easily removed. A larger 
building has the posts carved into the rude forms of men and women, 
and is supposed to be a temple or council-house. This village is prob- 
ably very like the pile villages of the stone age, whose remains have 
been found in the lakes of Switzerland and other countries. Similar 
houses are found in the Aru and Ke" Islands, in Waigiou, and on the 
southwest coast ; and they are also common on the southeast coast, 
sometimes standing in the water, sometimes on the beach above high- 
water mark. These houses are often a hundred feet long, and some- 
times much more, and are occupied by ten or twenty families. On the 
Fly River similar large houses occur, but only raised a foot or two above 
the ground ; while at the mouth of the Utanata River, on the southwest 
coast, a large low house was found a hundred feet long, and only six 
feet wide, with nineteen low doors ; but this was evidently only a tem- 
porary seaside habitation of a tribe who had their permanent dwellings 

Finding these large houses, raised on posts or piles and common to 
many families, to prevail from one end of New Guinea to the other, 
both on the coast and inland, we are led to conclude that those described 
by Dr. Miklucho Maclay at Astrolabe Bay, on the northeast coast, are 
exceptional, and indicate the presence of some foreign element. The 
houses of the people among whom he lived were not raised on posts, 
and had very low walls, so that the somewhat arched roofs appeared to 
rise at once from the ground. They were of small dimensions, and 
seem to correspond pretty closely to those of the Admiralty Islands, 
New Britain, and New Ireland ; so that this part of the coast of New 
Guinea has probably been colonized from some of the adjacent islands, 
a view supported by the fact that these people do not use bows and 
arrows, so general among all the true Papuans, and by other peculiari- 


ties. It is somewhat unfortunate that the only scientific man who has 
resided alone among these people for more than a year, for the express 
purpose of studying them exhaustively, should have hit upon a place 
where the natives are probably not true indigenes but an intruding 
colony, although perhaps long settled in the country. Dr. Miklucho 
Maclay will no doubt be quoted as the greatest living authority on the 
Papuans of New Guinea ; and it is therefore very important to call 
attention to the fact that the people he so carefully studied are not 
typical of the race, and may not even be Papuans at all in the restricted 
sense in which it is usually applied to the main body of the aborigines 
of New Guinea. 

The Papuans, as well as all the tribes of dark, frizzly- haired Mela- 
nesians, make pottery for cooking, thus differing from all the brown 
Polynesian tribes of the Pacific, none of whom are acquainted, with this 
art. Of course the actual seat of manufacture will be dependent on the 
presence of suitable materials ; but those who do not make it them- 
selves obtain it by barter, so that earthenware cooking-vessels appear 
to be in general use all over the island. Cups and spoons are made out 
of shells or cocoanuts, while wooden bowls of various sizes, wooden 
mortars for husking maize or rice, wooden stools used as pillows, and 
many other articles, are cut out and ornamented with great skill. A 
variety of boxes are made of the split leaf -stalks of the sago palm, 
pegged together and covered with pandanus-leaves, often neatly plaited 
and stained of different colors, so as to form elegant patterns. A variety 
of mats, bags, and cordage, are made with the usual skill of savage peo- 
ple ; and their canoes are often of large size and beautifully constructed, 
with high-peaked ends ornamented with carvings, and adorned with 
plumes of feathers. 

The weapons chiefly used are spears of various kinds, wooden swords 
and clubs, and bows and arrows ; the latter being almost universal 
among the true Papuans and most of the allied frizzly-haired races, 
while the Polynesians seem never to possess it as an indigenous weapon. 
It is very singular that neither the Australians, the Polynesians, nor the 
Malays should be acquainted with this weapon, while in all the great 
continents it is of unknown antiquity, and is still largely used in Amer- 
ica, Asia, and Africa. Peschel, indeed, attempts to show that the Poly- 
nesians have only ceased to use it on account of the absence of game in 
their islands ; but mammalia are almost equally scarce in the New Heb- 
rides, where it is in constant use even in the smallest islands ; while 
in Australia, where they abound, and where it would be a most useful 
weapon, it is totally unknown. We must therefore hold that the use of 
the bow and arrow by the Papuans is an important ethnological feature, 
distinguishing them from all the peoples by whom they are immediately 
surrounded, and connecting them, as do their physical peculiarities, with 
an ancient widespread negroid type. 

In their knowledge and practice of agriculture the Papuans show 


themselves to be far superior to the Australians, and fully the equals of 
the Polynesian races. They grow cocoanuts and bread-fruit, and cul- 
tivate various kinds of yam, sweet potato, bananas, and sugar-cane. 
Though possessing, for the most part, only stone axes, they clear the 
forest to make their plantations, which they carefully fence round to 
keep out the wild pigs. Looking at these clearings, at their houses, 
their canoes, their implements, weapons, and ornaments often elabo- 
rately carved, we must, as Dr. Maclay remarks, be struck with astonish- 
ment at the great patience and skill displayed by these savages. Their 
chief implement, the axe, consists of a hard gray, green, or white stone, 
made smooth and sharp by long grinding and polishing. A piece of the 
stem of a tree which has a branch passing off at an angle, something 
like the figure 7, is hewed off, and upon the branch, which has been cut 
off short and shaven at the top, the stone is laid horizontally, and bound 
fast with split rattans or tough bark. Such an instrument requires to 
be used with great skill, only to be attained by practice, or the stone 
will be broken without producing any result. These savages can, how- 
ever, with a stone axe having a cutting edge only two inches broad, fell 
a tree-trunk of twenty inches diameter, or carve really fine figures on a 
post or spear. Each adult man possesses one such axe, but in every 
village there are usually one or two larger two-handed axes, which are 
about three inches broad. These are considered exceedingly valuable, 
and are only used for cutting large trees for canoes or other important 
work. Fragments of flint and shells are used for finishing carved work 
and cutting the ornamental patterns on bamboo boxes, as well as for 
making combs, spoons, arrows, and other small articles. For cutting 
meat and vegetables a kind of chisel of bone and knives of bamboo 
are made use of. On the northwest and southwest coasts, where the 
people have long been in communication with Malay traders, they have 
iron tools and weapons, and cultivate also maize and a little rice and 
millet, and have the papaya as an additional fruit and vegetable ; and 
they also grow tobacco, of which they make huge cigars. At Dorey 
they have learned to work iron, and make swords and choppers as well 
as iron points to their arrows and spears. 

The daily food of these people consists of some of the vegetables 
already named, of which they have a pretty constant supply, together 
with fruits, fish, and occasionally the flesh of the wild pig, the cuscus, 
or of birds caught in snares or shot with arrows. They also eat shell- 
fish, lizards, and almost every kind of large insect, especially beetles 
and their larva?, which are eaten either raw or cooked. Having no salt, 
they mix sea-water with that in which they cook their food, and this is 
so highly esteemed that the people of the hills carry away bamboos full 
of salt-water whenever they visit the coast. 

The plantations are usually made at some distance inland for safety, 
and, after the ground is cleared and fenced by the men, the cultivation 
is left almost wholly to the women, who go every day to weed and 


bring home some of the produce for the evening's meal. They have 
throughout the year a succession of fruits and vegetables either wild or 
cultivated, and are thus never half-starved like the Australians. On the 
whole the women are well treated and have much liberty, though they 
are considered as inferiors, and do not take their meals with the men. 
The children are well attended to, and the fathers seem very fond of 
their boys, and often take them when very young on their fishing or 
hunting excursions. 

As in the case of most other savages, we have very different and 
conflicting accounts of the character of the Papuans. Mr. Windsor Earl 
well remarks, that whenever civilized man is brought into friendly 
communication with savages, the disgust which naturally arises from 
the first glance at a state of society so obnoxious to his sense of pro- 
priety, disappears before a closer acquaintance, and he learns to regard 
their little delinquencies as he would those of children ; while their 
kindliness of disposition and natural good qualities begin to be recog- 
nized. Thus many writers make highly favorable statements respecting 
the Papuan character and disposition ; while those whose communica- 
tions with them have been of a hostile nature are so impressed with 
their savage cunning and ferocity, and the wild-beast -like nature of their 
attacks, that they will not recognize in them any feelings in common 
with more civilized races. 

Many of the early voyagers record nothing but hostility or treach- 
erous murders on the part of the Papuans. Their visits were, however, 
chiefly on the northwest and southwest coasts, which the Malays have 
long been accustomed to visit not only for commerce but to capture 
slaves. This having become a regular trade, some of the more warlike 
coast tribes, especially those of Onin in McCluer's Inlet, have been ac- 
customed to attack the villages of other tribes, and to capture their 
inhabitants, in order to sell the women and children to the Malays. It 
is not therefore surprising that unknown armed visitors to these coasts 
should be treated as enemies to be resisted and if possible extermi- 
nated. Even Europeans have sometimes increased this feeling of enmity 
through ignorance of native habits and customs. Cocoanut-trees have 
been cut down to obtain the fruit, apparently under the impression that 
they grew wild and were so abundant as to be of little value x whereas 
every tree is considered as private property, as they supply an impor- 
tant article of food, and are even more valued than the choicest fruit- 
trees among ourselves. Thus Schouten, in 1616, sent a boat well armed 
to bring cocoanuts from a grove of trees near the shore, but the natives 
attacked the Europeans, wounded sixteen of them, and forced them to 
retire. Commodore Roggewen, in 1722, cut down cocoanut-trees on 
the island of Moa on the north coast, which, of course, brought on an 
attack. At other times houses have been entered in the absence of 
their owners, a great offense in the ej-es of all savage people, and at 
once stamping the intruder as an enemy. 


On the other hand, Lieutenant Bruijn Kops, who visited the north- 
west coast of New Guinea in 1850, gives the following account of the 
inhabitants of Dorey : 

Their manners and customs are much less barbarous than might be expected. 
On the contrary, they give evidence of a mild disposition, of an inclination to 
right and justice, and strong moral principles. Theft is considered by them as a 
grave offense, and is of very rare occurrence. They have no fastenings to their 
houses, yet seldom or never is anything stolen. Although they were on board 
our ship or alongside during whole days, we never missed anything. Yet they 
are distrustful of strangers until they become acquainted with them, as we ex- 
perienced. This is probably less, however, a trait of their character than the 
result of intercourse with strangers who perhaps had frequently tried to cheat 
them. The men, it is true, came on board from the time of our arrival, but they 
were very cautious in letting any of the things they brought for sale out of their 
hands. The women were at first very fearful, and fled on all sides when they 
saw us, leaving behind what they might be carrying ; but at length when they 
found they had no injury to dread from us they became more familiar. Finally, 
they approached without being invited, but remained timid. The children very 
soon became accustomed to us, and followed us everywhere. 

Eespect for the aged, love for their children, and fidelity to their wives, are 
traits which reflect honor on their disposition. Chastity is held in high regard, 
and is a virtue that is seldom transgressed by them. A man can only have one 
wife, and is bound to her for life. Concubinage is not permitted. Adultery is 
unknown among them. They are generally very fond of strong drink, but, 
although they go to excess in this, I could not learn that they prepared any fer- 
mented liquor, not even sago-weer or tuah (palm-wine). Kidnapping is general 
in these countries, and is followed as a branch of trade, so that there is no dis- 
honor attached to it. The captives are treated well, are exchanged if there are 
any of theirs in the enemy's hands, or released on payment of a ransom, as was 
the case in Europe in the middle ages. 

My own experience of the Papuans at Dorey, in 1858, agrees with 
this account ; and as I lived there for four months with only four Malay 
servants, going daily unarmed into the forest to collect insects, I was 
completely in their power had they wished to attack me. A remark- 
able proof of their honesty occurred to me at the island of Waigiou, 
where a man who had received payment in advance for red birds of 
paradise brought back the money, represented by an axe, when after 
trying for several weeks he had failed to catch any. Another, who had 
received payment for six birds, brought me in the fifth two days before 
I was to leave the island, and immediately started off for the forest to 
seek another. Of course I never expected to see him again, but, when 
my boat was loaded, and we were just on the point of starting, he came 
running down to the beach holding up a bird, which he handed to me, 
saying with evident satisfaction, "Now I owe you nothing." My 
assistant, Mr. Allen, venturing along among the mountaineers of the 
northwest peninsula, found them peaceable and good-natured. Drs. 
Meyer and Beccari and Signor d'Albertis, penetrating inland beyond 
Dorey, were never attacked or seriously opposed ; and Dr. Miklucho 


Maclay suddenly appearing at Astrolabe Bay, among people who seem 
never to have had any communication with Europeans, soon established 
friendly relations with them, although subject to great trials of temper 
and courage at the outset. 

His experience with them is very instructive. They appeared at 
first distrustful and suspicious of his intentions, as well they might be. 
Sometimes they left him quite alone for days together, or kept him 
prisoner in the little hut he had had built for himself, or tried to fright- 
en him by shooting arrows close to his head and neck, and pressing 
their spears against his teeth till they made him open his mouth. 
Finding, however, that he bore all these annoyances good-humoredly, 
and, as a medical man, took every opportunity of doing them services, 
they concluded he was a good spirit, a man from the moon, and thence- 
forth paid him great respect, and allowed him to go about pretty much 
as he pleased. This reminds us of the experience of the Challenger at 
Humboldt Bay, where it was decided not to stay, because some of the 
natives similarly drew their bows at the officers when away in boats. 
This was no doubt nervous work for the person threatened, but it was 
only a threat. Savages do not commence a real attack in that theatri- 
cal way, and, if they had been met with coolness and their threats been 
laughed at or treated with contempt, such demonstrations would soon 
have ceased. Of course it requires very exceptional courage and tem- 
per, not possessed by one man in a thousand, to do this ; but the fact 
should be remembered that in many parts of the world such attempts 
to frighten Europeans have been adopted, but have never resulted in 
anything serious. Had the Papuans really wanted to rob and murder, 
they would have enticed the Challenger people on shore, where they 
would have had them completely at their mercy, whereas those who did 
go on shore were very civilly treated. 

One of the most curious features noticed by Dr. Miklucho Maclay 
was the apparent absence of trade or barter among the people of As- 
trolabe Bay. They exchange presents, however, when different tribes 
visit each other, somewhat as among the New-Zealanders, each party 
giving the other what they have to spare ; but no one article seems 
ever to be exchanged for another of supposed equivalent value. On 
the whole, the Russian doctor seems to have found these people indus- 
trious, good-natured, and tolerably cleanly, living orderly lives, and 
conforming themselves strictly to the laws and customs which to them 
determine what is right. 

Captain Moresby, Signor d'Albertis, Mr. O. C. Stone, and the mis- 
sionaries who have recently explored the southeastern extremity of 
New Guinea, have been greatly struck by the apparently quite distinct 
races they have found there. As far eastward as the head of the gulf 
of Papua (on the east side of Torres Straits) the typical Papuans pre- 
vail, the natives of the Katow River being described as nearly black, 


with Jewish noses, and woolly hair, using bows and arrows, and living 
in houses a hundred feet long elevated on posts, in all respects exactly 
agreeing with the prevalent type in the western portion of the island. 
But farther east, about Redscar Bay and Port Moresby, and thence to 
East Cape, the people are lighter in color, less warlike, and more intel- 
ligent, with more regular European features, neither making bows nor 
(except rarely) pottery, and practicing true tattooing by punctures all 
distinctly Polynesian characteristics. "When to this we add that their 
language contains a large Polynesian element, it is not surprising that 
these people have been described as a totally distinct race, and have 
been termed Malays or Malayo-Polynesians. We fortunately possess 
several independent accounts of these tribes, and are thus able to form 
a tolerably good idea of their true characters. 

Captain Moresby, speaking of the inhabitants of that large portion 
of the eastern peninsula of New Guinea discovered and surveyed by 
him, says: 

This race is distinctly Malayan ; hut differs from the pure Malay, being small- 
er in stature, coarser in feature, thicker-lipped, with less hair on the face, being 
in fact almost beardless. The hair on the head is also more frizzled, though 
this may result from a different dressing. These men have high cheekbones like 
the pure Malay ; their noses are inclined to be aquiline and sometimes very well 
formed. Among them are met many men with light hair, and what struck us 
as a peculiarly Jewish cast of features. They rise to a height of from five feet 
four inches to five feet eight inches, are sinewy though not muscular, slight, 
graceful, and cat-like in the pliability of their bodies.* 

This description clearly shows that by " Malay " Captain Moresby 
means " Polynesian," the characters mentioned being in almost every 
respect directly the opposite of those of the true Malays, as indicated 
by the words and phrases here placed in italics. And, even as compared 
with the typical brown Polynesians, the frizzled hair, aquiline noses, 
and Jewish cast of features, are all Papuan characteristics. 

Mr. Octavius C. Stone describes the Motu tribe who inhabit the 
coast districts about Redscar Bay and Port Moresby as somewhat 
shorter than the Papuans to the westward, and of a color varying from 
light brown to chocolate. The hair varies from nearly straight to wool- 
ly, often being frizzled out like that of the typical Papuan. The hair 
on the face is artificially eradicated, and they are thus made to appear 
beardless. The nose is aquiline and thick, and in a small percentage of 
the men the Jewish type of features appears. The adjacent tribes dif- 
fer somewhat. The Koiari, Ilema, and Maiva are generally darker in 
color ; while the Kirapuno are lighter. These last live near Hood 
Point, and are the handsomest people in New Guinea. Their hair is of 
a rich auburn, often golden in the children, growing in curls or ringlets. 
It is this tribe that keep their villages in such excellent order, with 

* "Journal of the Royal Geographical Society," vol. xlv., p. 163. 


well-kept gardens in which they even cultivate flowers. Mr. Lawes 
says : " We were all amazed at the cleanliness, order, and industry, 
which everywhere declared themselves in this model New Guinea vil- 
lage. The men are physically very fine and the women good-looking. 
One of the belles of the place had no less than fifty-four tortoise-shell 
ear-rings in her two ears, and her nose pierced too."* 

Speaking of all these tribes as forming essentially one race, Mr. 
Stone says that they are a merry, laughter-loving people, fond of talking, 
and loving a joke, hot of temper, and quick to resent a supposed injury 
all of which are Polynesian or Papuan as opposed to Malayan char- 
acteristics. They are clean in their habits, and particularly so in their 
eating. When allowed liberties they do not fail to take advantage ; 
and, at Port Moresby in particular, they are accomplished thieves, in- 
veterate liars, confirmed beggars, and ungenerous to a degree, so that, 
even if starving, they would give you nothing without an equivalent. 
This condemnation, however, does not apply to the interior tribes who 
have not yet been demoralized by European visitors. Both sexes are 
vain of their outward appearance, oiling their bodies, and adorning 
themselves with shells, feather and bone ornaments ; and on all festive 
occasions each tries to outvie the other in his or her toilet. Their dress 
is like that of the Papuans, a T-bandage for the men, a fringe of leaves 
for the women, but the latter are more carefully made than among the 
more savage tribes. They practice true tattooing, the women espe- 
cially being often highly ornamented with complex patterns on the body 
and limbs, and occasionally on the face also, but wanting the elegant 
curves and graceful designs which characterize Polynesian tattooing.* 
Their weapons are spears, shields, stone clubs, and hatchets, one tribe 
only the Ilema making bows and arrows. In like manner the Motu 
tribe only make pottery, which the other tribes obtain from them by 
barter. They use drilling-machines with a spindle-wheel and cord, 
like the Polynesians. The houses, whether on the shore or inland, are 
raised on piles, but are small as compared with those of the Papuans, 
each accommodating one or two families only. 

Intellectually these people are considerably advanced. They can 
reckon up to a million. They use the outstretched arms as a unit to 
measure by. They divide the year into thirteen months, duly named, 
and reckoned from the new moons. The four winds and many of the 
stars have names, as well as every tree, shrub, flower, and even each 
well-marked grass and fern. They prefer fair to dark people, and are 
thus disposed to like and admire the white races. The children are 
very merry, and have many toys and games. The Rev. W. Turner 
tells us that they make small windmills of cocoanut-leaves, and are 
well versed in the mysteries of cat's-cradle ; while spinning a button 

* Journal kept by Mr. Lawes, "Times," November 27, 1S*76. 

f See figures illustrating the Rev. W. Turner's article on " The Ethnology of the 
Motu," in the " Journal of the Anthropological Institute," 1878, p. 480. 


or round piece of shell on a cord, and keeping a bladder in the air 
by patting it with the hands, are favorite games. They also amuse 
themselves with miniature spears and bow and arrows, catching fish, 
which they cook for themselves on the shore. They are left to do 
what they like, and know nothing of the tasks of school, the troubles 
of keeping their clothes clean, or the miseries of being washed trou- 
bles that vex the lives of almost all civilized children. According to 
Mr. Turner, the villages of the Motu are by no means clean, all man- 
ner of filth being left about unheeded ; and, as this agrees with most 
other descriptions, we must conclude that the model village already 
referred to is quite exceptional in its cleanliness and order. 

Mr. Turner thinks the Motu are colonists from some other land, 
while he considers the Koiari of the interior to be " evidently the abori- 
gines of this part of New Guinea." Mr. Stone, on the other hand, classes 
them together as slightly differing tribes of the same race, the one 
being a little more advanced than the other ; and he considers the whole 
eastern peninsula of New Guinea to be peopled by a race of Polyne- 
sian blood, who, in some far-distant time, found their way to the coast, 
intermingled with the native Papuan tribes, and gradully drove them 
westward. There have thus resulted a number of separate tribes, show- 
ing various degrees of intermixture, the Polynesian blood predominat- 
ing on the coast, the Papuan in the interior ; one small tribe alone, the 
Kirapuno, being more distinctly Polynesian. How complete is the 
intermixture, and how difficult it is to determine the limits of the two 
races, are shown by the opinion of Mr. S. McFarlane, who says that 
though he at first thought the people of Katow River and those of Red- 
scar Bay to be quite distinct, the former Papuan and the latter Ma- 
layan (or more properly Polynesian), yet, after five years' acquaintance 
with them, he believes them to of the same race ; while he considers 
the tribes of the interior to be distinct, and to be true Papuans. The 
coast people he thinks to be the result of an intermixture of Malays, 
Polynesians, Arabs, Chinese, and Papuans. 

Dr. Comrie (of the surveying ship Basilisk) believes that all the 
tribes on the northeast coast, from East Cape to Astrolabe Bay, are 
Papuans ; but his description of them shows that they have a slight in- 
fusion of Polynesian blood, and many Polynesian customs. One thing 
is very clear, that neither in physical nor mental characteristics do these 
people show any resemblance whatever to Malays, who are a very differ- 
ent race from the Polynesian. The graceful figures, the woolly or curly 
hair, the arched noses, the use of tattooing, the ignorance of. pottery- 
making, the gay and laughter-loving disposition, the talkativeness of the 
women, the lying, thievishness, and beggary, widely separate them from 
the Malay ; while all these peculiarities support the view of their being 
a race formed by a mixture of Polynesian men with Papuan or Melane- 
sian women, the former having perhaps arrived in successive waves of 
immigration, thus causing the coast tribes, and those nearest the east- 
vol. xv. 5 


era end of the island, to be more distinctly Polynesian in character 
than those inland and toward the west. 

Returning now to the dark Papuan tribes of the remainder of New 
Guinea, we find that here also there is some difference of opinion. Ow- 
ing to the coast tribes being usually at war with those of the interior, 
these latter have been described by them as a different race, and have 
been called by the Dutch and other writers Alfuros * or Harafuras, a 
term applied to any wild people living in the interior of a country, as 
opposed to the coast tribes. This has led many writers to class the 
natives of New Guinea into Papuans and Harafuras, terms which are 
still sometimes used, but which are quite erroneous as implying any 
physical difference or any distinction of race. Dr. Meyer, who has seen 
much of the people of the northwest coast, considers that there is no 
difference of the slightest importance between the coast and inland 
tribes, but such as occur in every race. Dr. Miklucho Maclay concludes 
that the Papuan stock consists of numerous varieties, with no sharp 
lines of demarkation. Dr. Beccari, however, differs somewhat from 
the preceding writers ; and as he explored a great range of country, 
and made repeated visits to the western half of New Guinea, his opin- 
ion is entitled to great weight. He thinks there are three distinct types 
of Papuans. One is dwarfish, with short woolly hair, skin almost or 
quite black, nose much depressed, forehead extremely narrow and slant- 
ing, and with a brachycephalous cranium ; these he terms Oriental ne- 
groes or Primitive Papuans. They do not now exist as a race, but are 
scattered among the interior tribes, and their description accords very 
closely with that of the Negritos of the Philippines and the Semangs of 
the Malay Peninsula. The next are the Typical Papuans, who are most 
widely spread, and present most of the characteristic features we have 
already described. The last are the Mafu or Mafor Papuans who in- 
habit Dorey and the shores and islands of Geelvink Bay, and are prob- 
ably scattered all round the western coasts. They form the highest 
type, with fine Jewish or European features, a better intellect, and a 
somewhat more advanced civilization. These people divide the year 
into lunar months, each with a proper name, and have names for the 
four cardinal points, for many stars, and for entire constellations. Dr. 
Beccari believes them to be the result of an intermixture (at a remote 
epoch) of Hindoo or Caucasian blood with the indigenes of the island, 
and he even traces a connection between their rude mythology and that 
of the Hindoos. 

A curious point of physiological detail may here be noticed as lend- 
ing some support to this theory. Almost all observers have remarked 
that the fully developed Papuan mop of hair is not a general feature 
in any of the tribes, but occurs sporadically over a wide area, is highly 

* The term is derived from the Portuguese "fora," out or outside; Alfores being ap- 
plied to tribes out of or beyond the settlement on the coast (Windsor Earl's " Papuans," 
p. 62). % 


valued by its possessors, and from its extreme conspicuousness is always 
noticed by travelers. No other race of people in the world possesses 
this character at all ; but, strange to say, it appears very fully developed 
among the Cafusos of Brazil. These are a mixed race, the produce of 
negro and Indian parents, and their enormous wigs of frizzly hair have 
been described by Spix and Martius, and are known to most South 
American travelers. Still more interesting is the appearance of a simi- 
lar peculiarity among the Arab tribes of Taku in eastern Africa, where 
mixtures of negro and Arab blood are very common.* It is well known 
that hybrid and mongrel characters are liable to great variation, and 
are very uncertain in their appearance or degree of development. If, 
therefore, the higher type of Papuans are the result of a remote inter- 
mixture of Hindoos or Arabs with the indigenous Papuans, we can 
account both for the appearance of the great mop of frizzly hair and for 
its extremely unequal development ; and it is not improbable that the 
Jewish and greatly elongated nose may have a similar origin. 

If we now take account of all the evidence yet obtained, we seem 
justified in concluding that the great mass of the inhabitants of New 
Guinea form one well-marked race the Papuan varying within com- 
paratively narrow limits, and everywhere presenting distinctive features 
which separate it from all other races of mankind. The only impor- 
tant deviation from the type occurs in the southeastern peninsula, 
where a considerable Polynesian immigration has undoubtedly taken 
place, and greatly modified the character of the population. At other 
points immigrants from some of the surrounding islands may have 
formed small settlements, but it is a mistake to suppose that there are 
any Malay colonies on the southwest coast, though some of the natives 
may have adopted the Malay dress and some of the outward forms of 

If we look over the globe for the nearest allies of the Papuans, we 
find them undoubtedly in equatorial and southern Africa, where alone 
there is an extensive and varied race of dark-colored, frizzly-haired 
people. The connecting links are found in the dwarfish, woolly-haired 
tribes of the Philippines, the Malay Peninsula, and the Andaman Islands; 
and, taking these altogether, we may well suppose them to represent 
one of the earliest, if not actually the most primitive type of man. It 
is customary to consider the Australians to be a lower race, and they 
undoubtedly are so intellectually, but this by no means proves that they 
are more primitive. The Australian's hair is fine and glossy like our 
own ; and no one can look at a good series of photographs of natives 
without being struck with the wonderful resemblance many of them 
bear to countenances familiar to us at home coarse and brutalized 
indeed, but still unmistakably similar. 

We must also take note of the fact that the two great woolly-haired 
* Waitz's " Anthropology," English translation, vol. i., p. 175. 


races are almost entirely confined within the tropics, and both attain 
their highest development near the equator. It is here that we should 
expect the primitive man to have appeared, and here we still find what 
may well be his direct descendants thriving best. We may, perhaps, 
even look on the diverse types of the other great races as in part 
due to changes of constitution adapting them to cooler climates and 
changed conditions ; first, the Australians and the hill tribes of central 
India, who once perhaps spread far over the northern hemisphere, but 
have been displaced by the Mongoloid type, which flourishes at this day 
from the equator to the pole. These, again, have been ousted from 
some of the fairest regions of the temperate zone by the Indo-Europe- 
ans, who seem only to have attained their full development and high- 
est vigor when exposed to the cold winds and variable climate of the 
temperate regions. 

If this view is correct, and the Papuans really form one branch of 
the most primitive type of man which still exists on the globe, we 
shall continue to look upon them with ever-increasing interest, and 
shall welcome every fact relating to them as important additions to the 
history of our race. The further exploration of their beautiful and 
luxuriant island will, it is to be hoped, be vigorously pursued, not only 
to obtain the mineral, vegetable, and animal treasures that still lie hid 
in its great mountain ranges, but also to search for the remains of 
primeval man in caves or alluvial deposits, and thus throw light on the 
many interesting problems suggested by the physical peculiarities and 
insular position of the Papuan race. Contemporary Review. 



MR. DARWIN has certainly achieved the distinction of being 
recognized as the " bogey " of his generation. What Bona- 
parte was to the English tradesman and his family at the beginning of 
this century, the great evolutionist is at present to pious Clapham and 
chapel-going Holloway. Vast numbers of virtuous vestrymen frighten 
the old women of their parishes with the mere mention of his name. 
Sentiments and sayings are put into his mouth which would come 
equally well from that of the enemy of mankind. His conspiracy 
against the peace of the British matron is so diabolical that even bish- 
ops sometimes thunder at him, and good people of an old-fashioned 
way of thinking have a conviction that he ought, in this world or an- 
other, to be burned. It is no use for tender-hearted clergymen, in the 
great reviews and elsewhere, to recommend him to mercy, and to sug- 
gest that his theories after all may not be altogether so infamous as 

* " The Darwinian Theory Examined." London : Bickers & Sons. 


the lovers of damnation would insinuate. It is no use for him, himself, 
to mildly plead that he is no iconoclast, and makes no pretense what- 
ever to have fathomed the solemn mysteries of Nature. His great 
offense has been committed, and he is condemned out of the mouth of 
his enemies to moral excommunication. Curiously enough, those most 
indignant at the suggestion of an ape-like ancestry are the individuals 
who are pretty generally admitted to be descendants of quite another 
species. By these the dangers of Darwinism are proclaimed with un- 
wearied iteration, and thus the bray of the donkey confutes the folly 
which affirms man to be an offshoot of some archetypal baboon. 

The author of this " Darwinian Theory Examined " is anonymous, 
but from the anxiety he shows to be " written down " not an ape, we 
have no hesitation in saying that he belongs to the Dogberry family of 
dissenters from the faith of modern science. Under what temptation 
he first thought of coming forward as the critic of Darwinism, and of 
speaking so loudly on behalf of the claims of his own ancestr} r , we are 
at a loss to guess ; but we may at once say that he has made us fully 
alive to the limitations of the great modern theory of man's descent. 
A theory which relegates all men to the great monkey family, and 
makes no account of those who confidently establish and vindicate a 
descent from the four-footed companion of Balaam, must be defective 
somewhere, as our anonymous author shows. With a charming co- 
herence, he compares Darwinism to phrenology, and again to mesmer- 
ism, and again to what he calls phrenomesmerism. " None of these," he 
says, " could have sprung from nothing (sic) that was reasonable ; they 
all held on by the skirts of truth, and they have all had their hour of 
triumph " ; and he continues, " Every one of a certain age may remem- 
ber how phrenology flourished, how people hired servants, selected as- 
sociates, and so forth, by its rules." We ourselves are of a certain 
age, but we really don't remember so much ; and the period when 
people " hired servants " and " selected associates " by feeling their 
bumps must have been previous to our editorial infancy. There is now 
a danger, we presume, that people may do such things by the rules of 
Darwinism, but the author fails to inform us whether we are likely to 
" select " servants and intimate friends because they do, or because 
they do not, present in their faces and on their persons indications of 
their apely origin ? As to the common results of the theory, however, 
he is far more explicit, and the case that he reports is so awful that We 
hope all our readers will take warning. " A man," he says, " was lately 
reported in America as giving a lecture, at the close of which he had 
advertised his intention to destroy himself. The audience was consid- 
erable. . . . Having concluded a most interesting discourse, he, in com- 
pliance with his advertised intention, before any one could interfere, 
drew a pistol out of his pocket and blew his brains out. At his lodg- 
ing was found a will, leaving all his property to purchase the works 
of Darwin, Tyndall, and Huxley for the public library of the district." 


After that, can any rational being doubt that Mr. Darwin has much to 
answer for ? " Such," the author triumphantly cries, " being some of 
the Darwinian theory's proved results (!), its suppression on the ground 
of being contrary to Nature and her true interpretation is clearly an 
object much to be desired " ! ! 

When our author descends from generalities and comes to tackle 
Mr. Darwin on his own ground, his intellectual feats are simply marvel- 
ous. In answer to the philosopher's question whether differences of 
bodily structure and mental faculties are transmitted to offspring, he 
replies that the " answer is in the negative, because we every day see 
tall fathers with short sons, and the reverse wise men and thrifty, with 
fools and spendthrifts for children ! " Nevertheless, he naively con- 
fesses a little further on that " hereditary peculiarities certainly exist." 
His reflections are both profound and elevating: "Facially there are 
men and women who bear strong resemblance to owls, baboons, and 
other of the lower order of animals. In fact, an illustrated book has 
been published concerning these peculiarities ; but these are not to the 
point, and prove nothing." Then why adduce them ? a poor heathen 
might demand ; but really we can not follow our author through the 
phases of his deep and dangerous argument. He gives it to Mr. Dar- 
win tremendously, and is very high and haughty with him whenever 
he catches him prevaricating. Sometimes, indeed, he is barely civil : 
" This argument is of the lucus a non lucendo order, and the premises 
are as false as the conclusion." When the poor philosopher mildly 
dissents, he is ready to disconcert him altogether with an aside to the 
reader : " And here I may remark that the French Academy deliber- 
ately and wisely refused him (Mr. Darwin) admission into their body 
(three times, I have heard), for the reason that his views of Nature 
were not legitimately founded on facts or science." jHe adds loftily, 
in the finest manner of Mr. Podsnap : " Of this I have not personal 
knowledge ; I have only been told so." 

Here and there he is almost too hard on Mr. Darwin, as when he 
says : " His approach to the deep mysteries of Nature is in the veni, 
vidi, vici style, little affected by the fact that he has no power of him- 
self to make the lowest living form of being." Really, Mr. Darwin 
makes no pretense to any powers of creation, unless it be in a modest 
literary way. Again, our critic says that, on a review of the whole 
" Descent of Man," this strikes him : " That any one, who can discover 
legitimate proof of the origin of man in its assumption, may truly be 
said to see with the eyes of Darwin, and not with those of God." 
Really, all an ordinary man can do is to see with his own eyes, if he 
possesses any, and not even a critic of superhuman stupidity could do 
much more. We regret to see these blemishes on so characteristic a 
book, for we are sure that it is one that will be welcomed by many a 
frightened matron, and by not a few seraphic spinsters. Such a work 
was wanted, not only to exhibit the dangers of Darwinism in its pos- 


sible effects on the inmates of Hanwell, but to concentrate in one con- 
cise and complete vade mecum all the irrelevant twaddle of the ancient 
house of Dogberry. If Mr. Darwin survives this attack, he will at least 
know that the force of utter flabbiness can go no further. To the 
present generation he is a very Goliath of the Philistines ; but, though 
the cranium of a catarrhine-ape may some day confute him, he is not 
to be annihilated in this off-hand fashion by the jawbone of an ass. 


DURING special states of disease the mind sometimes develops 
faculties such as it does not possess when the body is in full 
health. Some of the abnormal qualities thus exhibited by the mind 
seem strikingly suggestive of the possible acquisition by the human 
race of similar powers under ordinary conditions. For this reason, 
though we fear there is no likelihood at present of any practical appli- 
cation of the knowledge we may obtain on this subject, it seems to us 
that there is considerable interest in examining the evidence afforded 
by the strange powers which the mind occasionally shows during dis- 
eases of the body, and especially during such diseases as are said, in 
unscientific but expressive language, to lower the tone of the nervous 

We may begin by citing a case which seems exceedingly significant. 
Miss H. Martineau relates that a congenital idiot, who had lost his 
mother when he was less than two years old, when dying, " suddenly 
turned his head, looked bright and sensible, and exclaimed, in a tone 
never heard from him before, ' O my mother ! how beautiful ! ' and 
sank down again dead." Dr. Carpenter cites this as a case of abnor- 
mal memory, illustrating his thesis that the basis of recollection " may 
be laid at a very early period of life." But the story seems to contain 
a deeper meaning. The poor idiot not only recalled a long-past time, 
a face that he had not seen for years except in dreams, but he gained 
for a moment a degree of intelligence which he had not possessed when 
in health. The quality of his brain was such, it appears, that with the 
ordinary activity of the circulation, the ordinary vitality of the organ, 
mental action was uncertain and feeble ; but when the circulation had 
all but ceased, when the nervous powers were all but prostrate, the fee- 
ble brain, though it may have become no stronger actually, became 
relatively stronger, in such sort that for the time being, a mere moment 
before dissolution, the idiot became an intelligent being. 

A somewhat similar case is on record in which an insane person, 
during that stage of typhus fever in which sane persons are apt to be- 
come delirious, became perfectly sane and reasonable, his insanity re- 


turning with returning health. Persons of strongest mind in health are 
often delirious for a short time before death. Since, then, the idiot in 
the same stage of approaching dissolution may become intelligent, while 
the insane may become sane under the conditions which make the sane 
become delirious, we recognize a relationship between the mental and 
bodily states which might be of considerable use in the treatment of 
mental diseases. It may well be that conditions of the nervous system 
which are to be avoided by persons of normal mental qualities may be 
advantageously superinduced in the case of those of abnormally weak 
or abnormally violent mind. It is noteworthy that different conditions 
would seem to be necessary for the idiotic and for the insane, if the 
cases cited sufficed to afford basis for generalization. For the idiot of 
Miss Martineau's story became intelligent during the intense depression 
of the bodily powers immediately preceding dissolution, whereas the 
insane person became sane during that height of fever when delirium 
commonly makes its appearance. 

Sir H. Holland mentions a case which shows how great bodily de- 
pression may affect a person of ordinarily clear and powerful mind. 
"I descended on one and the same day," he says, "two very deep 
mines in the Hartz Mountains, remaining some hours underground in 
each. While in the second mine, and exhausted both from fatigue and 
inanition, I felt the utter impossibility of talking longer with the Ger- 
man inspector who accompanied me. Every German word and phrase 
deserted my recollection ; and it was not until I had taken food and 
wine, and been some time at rest, that I regained them again." 

A change in the mental condition is sometimes a sign of approach- 
ing serious illness, and is felt to be so by the person experiencing it. 
An American writer, Mr. Butterworth, quotes the following description 
given by a near relative of his who was suffering from extreme nervous 
debility : " I am in constant fear of insanity," she said, " and I wish I 
could be moved to some retreat for the insane. I understand my con- 
dition perfectly ; my reason does not seem to be impaired ; but I can 
think of two things at the same time. This is an indication of mental 
unsoundness, and is a terror to me. I do not seem to have slept at all 
for the last six months. If I sleep, it must be in a succession of vivid 
dreams that destroy all impression of somnolence. Since I have been 
in this condition, I seem to have a very vivid impression of what hap- 
pens to my children who are away from home, and I am often startled 
to hear that these impressions are correct. I seem to have also a cer- 
tain power of anticipating what one is about to say, and to read the 
motives of others. I take no pleasure in this strange increase of men- 
tal power ; it is all unnatural. I can not live in this state long, and I 
often wish T were dead." 

It must, however, be remembered that persons who are in a state of 
extreme nervous debility not only possess at times abnormal mental 
qualities, but are also affected morally. As Huxley has well remarked 


of some stories bearing on spiritualism, they come from persons who 
can hardly be trusted even according to their own account of them- 
selves. Mr. Butterworth's relation described a mental condition which, 
even if quite correctly pictured as she understood it, may yet be ex- 
plained without believing that any very marvelous increase had taken 
place in her mental powers. Among the vivid impressions which she 
constantly had of what might be happening to her children away from 
home, it would have been strange if some had not been correct. The 
power of anticipating what others were about to say is one which many 
imagine they have, mistaking the occasional coincidence between their 
guesses and what has been next said for indications of a power which 
in reality they do not possess. And so also with regard to the motives 
of others. Many are apt, especially when out of health, to guess at 
others' motives, sometimes rightly, but oftener very wrongly, yet al- 
ways rightly in their own belief, no matter what evidence may presently 
appear to the contrary. 

The case cited by Mr. Butterworth aifords evidence rather of the 
unhealthy condition of the patient's mind than of abnormal powers, 
except as regards the power of thinking of two things at the same time, 
which we may fairly assume was not ordinarily possessed by his rela- 
tives. It is rather difficult to define such a power, however. Several 
persons have apparently possessed the power, showing it by doing two 
things at the same time which both appear to require thought, and 
even close attention. Julius Caesar, for example, could write on one 
subject and dictate on another simultaneously. But, in reality, even in 
cases such as these, the mind does not think of two things at once. It 
simply takes them in turn, doing enough with each, in a short time, a 
mere instant, perhaps, to give work to the pen or to the voice, as the 
case may be, for a longer time. When Cassar was writing a sentence, 
he was not necessarily thinking of what he was writing. He had done 
the thinking part of the work before ; and was free, while continuing 
the mere mechanical process of writing, to think of matter for dictation 
to his secretary. So also while he was speaking, he was free to think 
of matter for writing. If, indeed, the thought for each sentence of 
either kind had occupied an appreciable time, there would have been 
interruptions of his writing, if not of his dictation (dictation is not 
commonly a continuous process under any circumstances, even when 
shorthand writers take down the words). But a practiced writer or 
speaker can in a moment form a sentence which shall occupy a minute 
in writing and several seconds in speaking. 

The present writer, who certainly does not claim the power of think- 
ing of two things at once (nay, believes that no one ever had or could ' 
have such a power), finds it perfectly easy, when lecturing, to arrange 
the plan for the next ten minutes' exposition of a scientific subject, and 
to adopt the words themselves for the next twenty seconds or so, while 
continuing to speak without the least interruption. He has also worked 


out a calculation on the blackboard, while continuing to speak of mat- 
ters outside the subject of the calculation. It is more a matter of habit 
than an indication of any mental power, natural or acquired, to speak 
or write sentences, even of considerable length, after the mind has 
passed on to other matters. In a similar way some persons can write 
different words with the right and left hands, and this, too, while speak- 
ing of other matters. (We have seen this done by Professor Morse, the 
American naturalist, whose two hands added words to the diagrams he 
had drawn while his voice dealt with other parts of the drawing ; to add 
to the wonder, too, he wrote the words indifferently from right to left 
or from left to right.) In reality the person who thus does two things 
at once is no more thinking of two things at once than a clock is, when 
the striking and the working machinery are both in action at the same 

As an illustration of special mental power shown in health, by a 
person whose mental condition in illness we shall consider afterward, 
Sir Walter Scott may be mentioned. The account given by his aman- 
uensis has seemed surprising to many, unfamiliar with the nature of 
literary composition (at least after long practice), but is in reality such 
as any one who writes much can quite readily understand, or might 
even have known must necessarily be correct. " His thoughts," says 
the secretary to whom Scott dictated his " Life of Napoleon Bonaparte," 

* Since the above was written we have noticed a passage in Dr. Carpenter's " Mental 
Physiology," p. 719, bearing on the matter we have been dealing with: ".The following 
statement recently made to the writer by a gentleman of high intelligence, the editor of a 
most important provincial newspaper, would be almost incredible, if cases somewhat simi- 
lar were not already familiar to us : 'I was formerly,' he said, ' a reporter in the House 
of Commons ; and it several times happened to me that, having fallen asleep from sheer 
fatigue toward the end of a debate, I had found, on awaking after a short interval of en- 
tire unconsciousness, that I had continued to note down correctly the speaker's words. 
I believe,' he added, ' that this is not an uncommon experience among Parliamentary re- 
porters.' The reading aloud with correct emphasis and intonation, or the performance 
of a piece of music, or (as in the case of Albert Smith) the recitation of a frequently re- 
peated composition, while the conscious mind is entirely engrossed in its own thoughts and 
feelings, may be thus accounted for without the supposition that the mind is actively en- 
gaged in two different operations at the same moment, which would seem tantamount to 
saying that there are two egos in the same organism." An instance in the writer's expe- 
rience seems even more remarkable than the reporter's work during sleep, for he had but 
to continue a mechanical process, whereas in the writer's case there must have been 
thought. Late one evening at Cambridge the writer began a game of chess with a fellow 
student (now a clergyman, and well known in chess circles). The writer was tired after 
a long day's rowing, but continued the game to the best of his ability until at a certain 
stage he fell asleep, or rather fell into a waking dream. At any rate, all remembrance 
of what passed after that part of the game had entirely escaped him when he awoke or 
returned to consciousness about three in the morning. The chess-board was there, but 
the men were not as when the last conscious move was made. The opponent's king was 
checkmated. The writer supposed his opponent had set the men in this position either 
as a joke or in trying over some end game. But he was assured that the game had con- 
tinued to the end, and that he (the writer) had won, apparently playing as if fully con- 
scious ! Of course, he can not certify this of his own knowledge. 


" flowed easily and felicitously, without any difficulty to lay hold of 
them or to find appropriate language" (which, by the way, is more 
than all would say who had read Scott's " Life of Bonaparte," and cer- 
tainly more than can be said of his secretar}*, unless it really was a 
familiar experience with him to be unable to lay hold of his thoughts). 
" This was evident by the absence of all solicitude (miseria cogitandi) 
from his countenance. He sat in his chair, from which he rose now 
and then, took a volume from the bookcase, consulted it, and restored it 
to the shelf all without intermission in the current of ideas, which con- 
tinued to be delivered with no less readiness than if his mind had been 
wholly occupied with the words he was uttering. It soon became ap- 
parent to me, however, that he was carrying on two distinct trains of 
thought, one of which was already arranged and in the act of being 
spoken, while at the same time he was in advance, considering what 
was afterward to be said. This I discovered " (he should rather have 
said, "this I was led to infer") "by his sometimes introducing a word 
which was wdiolly out of place entertained instead of denied, for ex- 
ample but which I presently found to belong to the next sentence, 
perhaps four or five lines further on, which he had been preparing at 
the very moment when he gave me the words of the one that preceded 
it." In the same way the present writer has unconsciously substituted 
one word for another in lecturing, the word used always belonging to 
a later sentence than the word intended to be used. We have noticed 
also this peculiarity, that, when a substitution of this kind has been 
once made, an effort is required to avoid repeating the mistake, even if 
it be not repeated quite unconsciously to the end of the discourse. In 
this way, for example, the writer once throughout an entire lecture 
used the word "heavens" for the word "screen" (the screen on which 
lantern pictures were shown). A similar peculiarity may be noticed 
with written errors. Thus in a treatise on a scientific subject, in which 
the utmost care had been given to minute points of detail, the present 
writer once wrote " seconds " for " minutes " throughout several pages 
in fact, from the place where first the error was made, to the end of 
the chapter. (See the first edition of Proctor's " Transits of Venus," 
pp. 131-136, noting as an additional peculiarity that the whole object 
of the chapter, in which this mistake was made, was to show how many 
minutes of difference existed between the occurrence of certain events.) 
An even more curious instance of a mistake arising from doing one 
thing while thinking of another occurred to the writer fourteen years 
ago. He was correcting the proof-sheets of an astronomical treatise in 
which occurred these words : " Calling the mean distance of the earth 
1, Saturn's mean distance is 9*539 ; again, calling the earth's period 1, 
Saturn's mean period is 29*457 : now, what relation exists between 
these numbers 9*539 and 29*457 and their powers ? The first is less 
than the second, but the square of the first is plainly greater than the 
second ; we must therefore try higher powers," etc. The passage was 


quite correct as it stood, and, if the two processes by which the writer 
was correcting verbal errors and following the sense of the passage 
had been really continuous processes of thought, unquestionably the 
passage would have been left alone. If the passage had been erroneous 
and had been simply left in that condition, the case would have been 
one only too familiar to those who have had occasion to correct proofs. 
But what the writer actually did was deliberately to make nonsense of 
the passage while improving the balance of the second sentence. He 
made it run, " The first is less than the second, but the square of the 
first is plainly greater than the square of the second," the absurdity of 
which statement a child would detect. If the first proof in its correct 
form, with the incorrect correction carefully written down in the mar- 
gin, had not existed, when, several months later, the error was pointed 
out in the " Quarterly Journal of Science," the writer would have felt 
sure that he had written the words wrongly at the outset. For blun- 
ders such as this are common enough. But, that he should deliberately 
have taken a correctly worded sentence and altered it into utter absurd- 
ity, he could not, but for the evidence, have believed to be possible. 
The case plainly shows that not only may two things be done at once, 
when the mind, nevertheless, is thinking only of one, but that some- 
thing may be done which suggests deliberate reflection, when in reality 
the mind is elsewhere or not occupied at all. For in this case both the 
processes on which the writer was engaged were manifestly carried on 
without thought, one being purely mechanical, and the other, though 
requiring thought if properly attended to, being so imperfectly effected 
as to show that no thought was given to it. 

To return to Sir Walter Scott. It is known but too well that during 
the later years of his life there came with bodily prostration a great but 
not constant failure of his mental powers. Some of the phenomena 
presented during this part of his career are strikingly illustrative of 
abnormal mental action occurring even at times when the mental power 
is on the whole much weakened. " The Bride of Lammermoor," though 
not one of the best of Scott's novels, is certainly far above such works as 
" Count Robert of Paris," " The Betrothed," and " Castle Dangerous." 
Its popularity may perhaps be attributed chiefly to the deep interest of 
the " ower true tale " on which it is founded ; but some of the characters 
are painted with exceeding skill. Lucy herself is almost a nonentity, 
and Edgar is little more than a gloomy, unpleasant man, made interest- 
ing only by the troubles which fall on him. But Ailsie Gourlay and 
Caleb Balderstone stand out from the canvas as if alive ; they are as 
lifelike and natural, yet as thoroughly individualized, as Edie Ochiltree 
and Meg Merrilies. The novel neither suggested when it first appeared, 
nor has been regarded even after the facts became known, as suggesting 
that Scott, when he wrote it, was in ill health. Yet it was produced 
under pressure of severe illness, and when Scott was at least in this sense 
unconscious, that nothing of what he said and did in connection with 


the work was remembered when he recovered. " The book," says James 
Ballantyne, " was not only written, but published, before Mr. Scott was 
able to rise from his bed ; and he assured me that, when it was first put 
into his hands in a complete shape, he did not recollect one single inci- 
dent, character, or conversation it contained ! He did not desire me 
to understand, nor did I understand, that his illness had erased from his 
memory the original incidents of the story, with which he had been 
acquainted from his boyhood. These remained rooted where they had 
ever been ; or, to speak more explicitly, he remembered the general 
facts of the existence of the father and mother, of the son and daugh- 
ter, of the rival lovers, of the compulsory marriage, and the attack 
made by the bride upon the hapless bridegroom, with the general catas- 
trophe of the whole. All these things he recollected, just as he did be- 
fore he took to his bed ; but he literally recollected nothing else not a 
single character woven by the romancer, not one of the many scenes 
and points of humor, not anything with which he was himself connected, 
as the writer of the work." 

Later, when Scott was breaking down under severe and long-con- 
tinued labor, and first felt the approach of the illness which ultimately 
ended in death, he experienced strange mental phenomena. In his diary 
for February 17, 1829, he notes that on the preceding day, at dinner, 
though in company witht wo or three old friends, he was haunted by 
" a sense of preexistence," a confused idea that nothing that passed 
was said for the first time ; that the same topics had been discussed, 
and that the same persons had expressed the same opinions before. 
" There was a vile sense of a want of reality in all that I did or said." 

Dr. Reynolds related to Dr. Carpenter a case in which a Dissenting 
minister, who was in apparently sound health, was rendered apprehen- 
sive of brain-disease though, as it seemed, without occasion by a 
lapse of memory similar to that experienced by Sir Walter Scott. He 
" went through an entire pulpit service on a certain Sunday morning 
with the most perfect consistency his choice of hymns and lessons and 
his extempore prayer being all related to the subject of his sermon. On 
the following Sunday morning he went through the introductory part 
of the service in precisely the same manner giving out the same hymns, 
reading the same lessons, and directing the extempore prayer in the 
same channel. He then gave out the same text and preached the very 
same sermon as he had done on the previous Sunday. When he came 
down from the pulpit it was found that he had not the smallest remem- 
brance of having gone through precisely the same service on the pre- 
vious Sunday ; and, when he was assured of it, he felt considerable un- 
easiness lest his lapse of memory should indicate some impending at- 
tack of illness. None such, however, supervened ; and no rationale can 
be given of this curious occurrence, the subject of it not being liable to 
fits of " absence of mind," and not having had his thoughts engrossed 
at the time by any other special preoccupation." Itis possible that the 


explanation here is the simple one of mere coincidence. Whether this 
explanation is available or not would depend entirely on the question 
whether thepreacher's memory was ordinarily trustworthy or not, whether 
in fact he would remember the arrangements, prayers, sermon, etc., he 
had given on any occasion. These matters becoming, after long habit, 
almost automatic, it might very well happen that the person going through 
such duties would remember them no longer and no better than one 
who had been present when they were performed, and who had not paid 
special attention to them. That if he had thus unconsciously carried 
out his duties on one Sunday he should (being to this degree forget- 
ful) conduct them in precisely the same way on the next Sunday, would 
rather tend to show that his mental faculties were in excellent working 
order than the reverse. Wendell Holmes tells a story which effectively 
illustrates our meaning ; and he tells it so pleasantby (as usual) that we 
shall quote it unaltered : " Sometimes, but rarely," he says, "one may 
be caught making the same speech twice over, and yet be held blame- 
less. Thus a certain lecturer " (Holmes himself, doubtless), " after per- 
forming in an inland city, where dwells a litteratrice of note, was in- 
vited to meet her and others over the social teacup. She pleasantly 
referred to his many wanderings in his new occupation. 'Yes,' he re- 
plied, ' I am like the huma, the bird that never lights, being always in 
the cars as he is always on the wing.' Years elapsed. The lecturer 
visited the same place once more for the same purpose. Another social 
cup after the lecture, and a second meeting with the distinguished lady. 
' You are constantly going from place to place,' she said. ' Yes,' be 
answered, 'I am like the huma,' and finished the sentence as before. 
What horrors, when it flashed over him that he had made this fine 
speech, word for word, twice over ! Yet it was not true, as the lady 
might perhaps have fairly inferred, that he had embellished his conver- 
sation with the huma daily during that whole interval of years. On the 
contrary, he had never once thought of the odious fowl until the recur- 
rence of precisely the same circumstances brought up precisely the same 
idea." He was not in the slightest degree afraid of brain-disease. On 
the contrary, he considered the circumstance indicative of good order in 
the mental mechanism. " He ought to have been proud," says Holmes, 
speaking for him, and meaning no doubt that he was proud, "of the 
accuracy of his mental adjustments. Given certain factors, and a 
sound brain should always evolve the same fixed product with the cer- 
tainty of J3ahbage > s calculating machine.'''' 

Somewhat akin to the unconscious recurrence of mental processes 
after considerable intervals of time is the tendency to imitate the ac- 
tions of others as though sharing in their thoughts, and according to 
many because mind acts upon mind. This tendency, though not always 
associated with disease, is usually a sign of bodily illness. Dr. Carpen- 
ter mentions the following singular case, but rather as illustrating gen- 
erally the influence of suggestions derived from external sources in 


determining the current of thought, than as showing how prone the 
thoughts are to run in undesirable currents when the body is out of 
health : " During an epidemic of fever, in which an active delirium had 
been a common symptom, it was observed that many of the patients of 
one particular physician were possessed by a strong tendency to throw 
themselves out of the window, while no such tendency presented itself 
in unusual frequency in the practice of others. The author's informant, 
Dr. C, himself a distinguished professor in the university, explained 
the tendency of what had occurred within his own knowledge ; he hav- 
ing been himself attacked by the fever, and having been under the care 
of this physician, his friend and colleague, Dr. A. Another of Dr. A.'s 
patients, whom we shall call Mr. B., seems to have been the first to 
make the attempt in question ; and, impressed with the necessity of 
taking due precautions, Dr. A. then visited Dr. C, in whose hearing he 
gave directions to have the windows properly secured, as Mr. B. had 
attempted to throw himself out. Now, Dr. G. distinctly remembers 
that, although he had not previously experienced any such desire, it 
came upon him with great urgency as soon as ever the idea was thus 
suggested to him ; his mind being just in that state of incipient delir- 
ium which is marked by the temporary dominance of some one idea, 
and by the want of volitional power to withdraw the attention from it. 
And he deemed it probable that, as Dr. A. went on to Mr. D., Mr. E., 
etc., and gave similar directions, a like desire would be excited in the 
minds of all those who might happen to be in the same impressible 
condition." The case is not only interesting as showing how the mind 
in disease receives certain impressions more strongly than in health, 
and, in a sense, may thus be said to possess for the time an abnormal 
power, but it affords a useful hint to doctors and nurses, who do not 
always (the latter indeed scarcely ever) consider the necessity of ex- 
treme caution when speaking about their patients and in their presence. 
It is probable that a considerable proportion of the accidents, fatal and 
otherwise, which have befallen delirious patients might be traced to 
incautious remarks made in their hearing by foolish nurses or forgetful 

In some cases doctors have had to excite a strong antagonistic feel- 
ing against tendencies of this kind. Thus Zerffi relates that an Eng- 
lish physician was once consulted by the mistress of a ladies' school 
where many girls had become liable to fits of hysterics. He tried sev- 
eral remedies, but in vain. At last, justly regarding the epidemic as 
arising from the influence of imagination on the weaker girls (one hys- 
terical girl having infected the others), he determined to exert a stronger 
antagonistic influence on the weak minds of his patients. He therefore 
remarked casually to the mistress of the school, in the hearing of the 
girls, that he had now tried all methods but one, which he would try, 
as a last resource, when next he called " the application of a red-hot 
iron to the spine of the patients so as to quiet their nervously excited 


systems." " Strange to say," remarks Zerffi meaning, no doubt, " it 
is hardly necessary to say that " " the red-hot iron was never applied, 
for the hysterical attacks ceased as if by magic." 

In another case mentioned by Zerffi, a revival mania in a large 
school near Cologne was similarly brought to an abrupt end. The 
Government sent an inspector. He found that the boys had visions of 
Christ, the Virgin, and departed saints. He threatened to close the 
school if these visions continued, and thus to exclude the students from 
all tlie prospects which their studies afforded them. " The effect was 
as magical as the red-hot iron remedy the revivals ceased as if by 

The following singular cases are related in Zimmermann's " Soli- 
tude " : A nun, in a very large convent in France, began to mew like a 
cat. At last all the nuns began to mew together every day at a certain 
time, and continued mewing for several hours together. This daily cat- 
concert continued until the nuns were informed that a company of 
soldiers was placed by the police before the entrance of the convent, 
and that the soldiers were provided with rods with which they would 
whip the nuns until they promised not to mew any more. ... In the 
fifteenth century, a nun in a German convent fell to biting her com- 
panions. In the course of a short time all the nuns of this convent 
began biting each other. The news of this infatuation among the nuns 
soon spread, and excited the same elsewhere ; the biting mania passing 
from convent to convent through a great part of German}'. It after- 
ward visited the nunneries of Holland, and even spread as far as Rome." 
No suggestion of bodily disease is made in either case. But any one 
who considers how utterly unnatural is the manner of life in monastic 
communities will not need the evidence derived from the spread of such 
preposterous habits to be assured that in convents the perfectly sane 
mind in a perfectly healthy body must be the exception rather than the 

The dancing mania, which spread through a large part of Europe in 
the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, although it eventually attacked 
persons who were seemingly in robust health, yet had its origin in dis- 
ease. Dr. Hecker, who has given the most complete account we have of 
this strange mania, in his " Epidemics of the Middle Ages," says that 
when the disease was completely developed the attack commenced with 
epileptic convulsions. " Those affected fell to the ground senseless, 
panting and laboring for breath. They foamed at the mouth, and sud- 
denly springing up began their dance amid strange contortions. They 
formed circles hand in hand, and appearing to have lest all control over 
their senses continued dancing, regardless of the bystanders, for hours 
together, in wild delirium, until at length they fell to the ground in a 
state of exhaustion. They then complained of extreme oppression, and 
groaned as if in the agonies of death, until they were swathed in clothes 
bound tightly round their waists ; upon which they again recovered, 


and remained free from complaint until the next attack .... While 
dancing they neither saw nor heard, being insensible to external im- 
pressions through the senses ; but they were haunted by visions, their 
fancies conjuring up spirits, whose names they shrieked out ; and some 
of them afterward asserted that they felt as if they had been immersed 
in a stream of blood, which obliged them to leap so high. Others during 
the paroxysm saw the heavens open, and the Saviour enthroned with 
the Virgin Mary, according as the religious notions of the age were 
strangely and variously reflected in their imaginations." The epidemic 
attacked people of all stations, but especially those who led a sedentary 
life, such as shoemakers and tailors ; yet even the most robust peasants 
finally yielded to it. They " abandoned their ktbors in the fields as if 
they were possessed by evil spirits, and those affected were seen assem- 
bling indiscriminately from time to time, at certain appointed places, 
and, unless prevented by the lookers-on, continued to dance without in- 
termission, until their very last breath was expended. Their fury and 
extravagance of demeanor so completely deprived them of their senses, 
that many of them dashed their brains out against the walls and corners 
of buildings, or rushed headlong into rapid rivers, where they found a 
watery grave. Roaring and foaming as they were, the bystanders could 
only succeed in restraining them by placing benches and chairs in their 
way, so that, by the high leaps they were thus tempted to take, their 
strength might be exhausted. As soon as this was the case they fell, 
as it were, lifeless to the ground, and by very slow degrees recovered 
their strength. Many there were who even with all this exertion had 
not expended the violence of the tempest which raged within them, 
but awoke with newly revived powers and again and again mixed with 
the crowd of dancers ; until at length the violent excitement of their 
disordered nerves was allayed by the great involuntary exertion of their 
limbs, and the mental disorder was calmed by the exhaustion of the 
body. The cure effected by these stormy attacks was in many cases 
so perfect that some patients returned to the factory or plow, as if 
nothing had happened. Others, on the contrary, paid the penalty of 
their folly by so total a loss of power that they could not regain their 
former health, even by the employment of the most strengthening 

It may be doubted, perhaps, by some whether such instances as these 
illustrate so much the state to which the mind is reduced when the body 
is diseased, as the state to which the body is reduced when the mind is 
diseased, though, as we have seen, the dancing mania when fully devel- 
oped followed always on bodily illness. In the cases we now have to 
deal with, the diseased condition of the body was unmistakable. 

Mrs. Hemans on her death-bed said that it was impossible for imagi- 
nation to picture or pen to describe the delightful visions which passed 
before her mind. They made her waking hours more delightful than those 
passed in sleep. It is evident that these visions had their origin in the 
vol. xv. 6 


processes of change affecting the substance of the brain as the disease 
of the body progressed. But it does not follow that the substance of 
the brain was undergoing changes necessarily tending to its ultimate 
decay and dissolution. Quite possibly the changes were such as might 
occur under the influence of suitable medicinal or stimulant substances, 
and without any subsequent ill effects. Dr. Richardson, in an interest- 
ing article on ether-drinking and extra-alcoholic intoxication (" Gentle- 
man's Magazine "for October), makes a remark which suggests that 
the medical men of our day look forward to the discovery of means for 
obtaining some such influence over the action of the brain. After de- 
scribing the action of methylic and ethylic ethers in his own case, he 
says : " They who have felt this condition, who have lived, as it were, 
in another life, however transitorily, are easily led to declare with Daw 
that * nothing exists but thoughts ! the universe is composed of im- 
pressions, ideas, pleasures, and pains ! ' I believe that it is so, and that 
we might by scientific art, and there is such an art, learn to live alto- 
gether in a new sphere of impressions, ideas, pleasures, and pains. . . . 
But stay," he adds, as if he had said too much, " I am anticipating, un- 
consciously, something else that is in my mind. The rest is silence ; I 
must return to the world in which we now live, and which all know." 

Mr. Butterworth mentions the case of the Rev. William Tennent, of 
Freehold, New Jersey, as illustrative of strange mental faculties pos- 
sessed during disease. Tennent was supposed to be far gone in con- 
sumption. At last, after a protracted illness, he seemingly died, and 
preparations were made for his funeral. Not only were his friends de- 
ceived, but he was deceived himself, for he thought he was dead, and 
that his spirit had entered paradise. " His soul, as he thought, was 
borne aloft to celestial altitudes, and was enraptured by visions of God 
and all the hosts of heaven. He seemed to dwell in an enchanted re- 
gion of limitless light and inconceivable splendor. At last an angel 
came to him and told him that he must go back. Darkness, like an 
overawing shadow, shut out the celestial glories ; and, full of sudden 
horror, he uttered a deep groan. This dismal utterance was heard by 
those around him, and prevented him from being buried alive, after all 
the preparations had been made for the removal of the body." 

We must not fall into the mistake of supposing, however, as many 
seem to do, that the visions seen under such conditions, or by ecstatics, 
really present truths of which the usual mental faculties could not be- 
come cognizant. We have heard such cases as the death-bed visions of 
Mrs. Hemans, and the trance visions of Tennent, urged as evidence in 
favor of special forms of doctrine. We have no thought of attacking 
these, but assuredly they derive no support from evidence of this sort. 
The dying Hindoo has visions which the Christian would certainly not 
regard as heaven-born. The Mohammedan sees the plains of paradise, 
peopled by the houris of his heaven, but we do not on that account ac- 
cept the Koran as the sole guide to religious truth. The fact is, that 


the visions pictured by the mind during the disease of the body, or in 
the ecstatic condition, have their birth in the mind itself, and take their 
form from the teachings with which that mind has been imbued. They 
may, indeed, seem utterly unlike those we should expect from the 
known character of the visionary, just as the thoughts of a dying man 
may be, and often are, very far removed from the objects which had oc- 
cupied all his attention during the later years of his life. But if the his- 
tory of the childhood and youth of an ecstatic could be fully known, or 
if (which is exceedingly unlikely) we could obtain a strictly truthful ac- 
count of such matters from himself, we should find nearly every circum- 
stance of his visions explained, or at least an explanation suggested. 
For, after all, much which would be necessary to exactly show the ori- 
gin of all he saw, would be lost, since the brain retains impressions of 
many things of which the conscious memory has entirely passed away. 

The vivid picturing of forgotten events of life is a familiar expe- 
rience of the opium-eater. Thus De Quincey says : " The minutest 
incidents of childhood, or forgotten scenes of later years, were often re- 
vived. I could not be said to recollect them, for, if I had been told of 
them when waking, I should not have been able to acknowledge them 
as part of my past experience. But placed as they were before me in 
dreams like intuitions and clothed in all their evanescent circumstances 
and accompanying feelings, I recognized them instantaneously." A 
similar return of long-forgotten scenes and incidents to the mind may 
be noticed, though not to the same degree, when wine has been taken 
in moderate quantity after a long fast. 

The effects of hasheesh are specially interesting in this connection, 
because, unless a very powerful dose has been taken, the hachischin 
does not wholly lose the power of introspection, so that he is able after- 
ward to recall what has passed through his mind when he was under 
the influence of the drug. Now Moreau, in his interesting " Etudes 
Psychologiques " ("Du Hachich etd' Alienation Mentale"), says that the 
first result of a dose sufficient to produce the hasheesh fantasia is a 
feeling of intense happiness. " It is really happiness which is pro- 
duced by the hasheesh ; and by this simply an enjoyment entirely moral, 
and by no means sensual as we might be induced to suppose. This is 
surely a very curious circumstance ; and some remarkable inferences 
might be drawn from it ; this, for instance, among others that every 
feeling of joy and gladness, even when the cause of it is exclusively 
moral that those enjoyments which are least connected with material 
objects, the most spiritual, the most ideal, may be nothing else than sen- 
sations purely physical, developed in the interior of the system, as are 
those procured by hasheesh. At least so far as relates to that of which 
we are internally conscious, there is no distinction between these two 
orders of sensations, in spite of the diversity in the causes to which they 
are due ; for the hasheesh-eater is happy, not like the gourmand or the 
famished man when satisfying his appetite, or the voluptuary in grati- 


fying his amative desires, but like him who hears tidings which fill him 
with joy, like the miser counting his treasures, the gambler who is suc- 
cessful at play, or the ambitious man who is intoxicated with success." 

Our special object, however, in noting the effects of opium and hash- 
eesh, is rather to note how the mental processes or faculties observed 
during certain states of disease may be produced artificially, than to 
enter into the considerations discussed by Dr. Moreau. It is singular 
that while the Mohammedan order of Hachischin (or Assassins) bring 
about by the use of their favorite drug such visions as accompany the 
progress of certain forms of disease, the Hindoo devotees called the 
Yogi are able to produce artificially the state of mind and body recog- 
nized in cataleptic patients. The less advanced Yogi can only enter the 
state of abstraction called reverie ; but the higher orders can simulate 
absolute inanition, the heart apparently ceasing to beat, the lungs to 
act, and the nerves to convey impressions to the brain, even though the 
body be subjected to processes which would cause extreme torture 
under ordinary conditions. " When in this state," says Carpenter, 
" the Yogi are supposed to be completely possessed by Brahma, ' the 
supreme soul,' and to be incapable of sin in thought, word, or deed." 
It has been supposed that this was the state into which those entered 
who in old times were resorted to as oracles. But it has happened that 
in certain stages of disease the power of assuming the death-like state 
has been possessed for a time. Thus Colonel Townsend, who died in 
1797, we read, had in his last sickness the extraordinary power of ap- 
parently dying and returning to life again at will. " I found his pulse 
sink gradually," says Dr. Cheyne, who attended him, " so that I could 
not feel it by the most exact or nice touch. Dr. Raymond could not 
detect the least motion of the heart, nor Dr. Skrine the least soil of the 
breath upon the bright mirror held to the mouth. We began to fear he 
was actually dead. He then began to breathe softly." Colonel Town- 
send repeated the experiment several times during his illness, and could 
always render himself insensible at will. 

Lastly, we may mention a case, which, however, though illustrating 
in some degree the influence of bodily illness on the mind, shows still 
more strikingly how the mind may influence the body that of Louise 
Lateau, the Belgian peasant. This girl had been prostrated by a long 
and exhausting illness, from which she recovered rapidly after receiving 
the sacrament. This circumstance made a strong impression on her 
mind. Her thoughts dwelt constantly on the circumstances attending 
the death of Christ. At length she noticed that, on every Friday, blood 
came from a spot in her left side. " In the course of a few months simi- 
lar bleeding spots established themselves on the front and back of each 
hand, and on the upper surface of each foot, while a circle of small spots 
formed in the forehead, and the haemorrhage from these recurred every 
Friday, sometimes to a considerable amount. About the same time, fits 
of ecstasy began to occur, commencing every Friday between eight find 


nine in the morning, and ending about six in the evening ; interrupting 
her in conversation, in prayer, or in manual occupations. This state," 
says Dr. Carpenter, " appears to have been intermediate between that of 
the biologized and that of the hypnotized subject ; for, while as uncon- 
scious as the latter of all sense-impressions, she retained, like the former, 
a recollection of all that had passed through her mind during the ecstasy. 
She described herself as suddenly plunged into a vast flood of bright 
light, from which more or less distinct forms began to evolve themselves ; 
and she then witnessed the several scenes of the Passion successively 
passing before her. She minutely described the cross and the vestments, 
the wounds, the crown of thorns about the head of the Saviour, and gave 
various details regarding the persons about the cross, the disciples, holy 
women, Jews, and Roman soldiers. And the progress of her vision 
might be traced by the succession of actions she performed at various 
stages of it : most of these movements expressive of her own emotions, 
while regularly about three in the afternoon she extended her limbs in 
the form of a cross. The fit terminated with a state of extreme physical 
prostration ; the pulse being scarcely perceptible, the breathing slow and 
feeble, and the whole surface bedewed with a cold perspiration. After 
this state had continued for about ten minutes, a return to the normal 
condition rapidly took place." 

There seems no reason for supposing that there was any deceit on 
the part of Louise Lateau herself, though that she was self-deceived no 
one can reasonably doubt. Of course many in Belgium, especially the 
more ignorant and superstitious (including large numbers of the clergy 
and of religious orders of men and women), believed that her ecstasies 
were miraculous, and no doubt she believed so herself. But none of 
the circumstances observed in her case, or related by her, were such as 
the physiologist would find any difficulty in accepting or explaining. 
Her visions were such as might have been expected in a person of her 
peculiar nervous organization, weakened as her body had been by long 
illness, and her mind affected by what she regarded as her miraculous 
recovery. As to the transudation of blood from the skin, Dr. Tuke, in 
his " Illustrations of the Influence of the Mind upon the Body in 
Health and Disease " (p. 267), shows the phenomenon to be naturally 
explicable. It is a well-authenticated fact that under strong emotional 
excitement blood escapes through the perspiratory ducts, apparently 
through the rupture of the walls of the capillary passages of the 

We see, then, in Louise Lateau's case, how the mind affected by 
disease may acquire faculties not possessed during health, and how in 
turn the mind thus affected may influence the body so strangely as to 
suggest to ignorant or foolish persons the operation of supernatural 
agencies. Of the influence of the mind on the body, we may speak 
more fully on another occasion. 

The general conclusion to which we seem led by the observed pecu- 


liarities in the mental faculties during disease is that the mind depends 
greatly on the state of the body for the coordination of its various 
powers. In health these are related in what may be called the normal 
manner. Faculties capable of great development under other conditions 
exist in moderate degree only, while probably, either consciously or 
unconsciously, certain faculties are held in control by others. But 
during illness faculties, not ordinarily used, suddenly or very rapidly 
acquire undue predominance, and controlling faculties usually effective 
are greatly weakened. Then for a while the mental capacity seems 
entirely changed. Powers supposed not to exist at all (for of mental 
faculties, as of certain other qualities, de non existentibus et de non 
apparentibus eadem est ratio) seem suddenly created, as if by a miracle. 
Faculties ordinarily so strong as to be considered characteristic seem 
suddenly destroyed, since they no longer produce any perceptible 
effect. Or, as Brown-Sequard says, summing up the results of a 
number of illustrative cases described in a course of lectures delivered 
in Boston, " It would seem that the mind is largely dependent on 
physical conditions for the exercise of its faculties, and that its strength 
and most remarkable powers, as well as its apparent weakness, are often 
most clearly shown and recognized by some inequality of action in 
periods of disturbed and greatly impaired health." Comhill Magazine. 


By Peofessoe T. H. HUXLEY. 

THE maxim that metaphysical inquiries are barren of result, and that 
the serious occupation of the mind with them is a mere waste of 
time and labor, finds much favor in the eyes of the many persons who 
pride themselves on the possession of sound common sense ; and we 
sometimes hear it enunciated by weighty authorities, as if its natural 
consequence, the suppression of such, studies, had the force of a moral 

In this case, however, as in some others, those who lay down the law 
seem to forget that a wise legislator will consider, not merely whether 
his proposed enactment is desirable, but whether obedience to it is pos- 
sible. For, if the latter question is answered negatively, the former is 
surely hardly worth debate. 

Here, in fact, lies the pith of the reply to those who would make 
metaphysics contraband of intellect. Whether it is desirable to place 
a prohibitory dutv upon philosophical speculations or not, it is utterly 
impossible to prevent the importation of them into the mind. And it 


is not a little curious to observe that those who most loudly profess to 
abstain from such commodities are all the while unconscious consumers, 
on a great scale, of one or other of their multitudinous disguises or 
adulterations. With mouths full of the particular kind of heavily but- 
tered toast which they affect, they inveigh against the eating of plain 
bread. In truth, the attempt to nourish the human intellect upon a 
diet which contains no metaphysics is about as hopeful as that of cer- 
tain Eastern sages to nourish their bodies without destroying life. 
Everybody has heard the story of the pitiless microscopist, who ruined 
the peace of mind of one of these mild enthusiasts by showing him the 
animals moving in a drop of the water with which, in the innocency of 
his heart, he slaked his thirst ; and the unsuspecting devotee of plain 
common sense may look for as unexpected a shock when the magnifier 
of severe logic reveals the germs, if not the full-grown shapes, of lively 
metaphysical postulates rampant amid his most positive and matter- 
of-fact notions. 

By way of escape from the metaphysical Will-o'-the-wisps gen- 
erated in the marshes of literature and theology, the serious student is 
sometimes bidden to betake himself to the solid ground of physical sci- 
ence. But the fish of immortal memory, who threw himself out of the 
frying-pan into the fire, was not more ill advised than the man who 
seeks sanctuary from philosophical persecution within the walls of the 
observatory or of the laboratory. It is said that " metaphysics " owe 
their name to the fact that, in Aristotle's works, questions of pure phi- 
losophy are dealt with immediately after those of physics. If so, the 
accident is happily symbolical of the essential relations of things ; for 
metaphysical speculation follows as closely upon physical theory as 
black care upon the horseman. 

One need but mention such fundamental, and indeed indispensable, 
conceptions of the natural philosopher as those of atoms and forces ; or 
that of attraction considered as action at a distance ; or that of poten- 
tial energy ; or the antinomies of a vacuum and a plenum ; to call to 
mind the metaphysical background of plvysics and chemistry ; while, in 
the biological sciences, the case is still worse. What is an individual 
among the lower plants and animals ? Are genera and species realities 
or abstractions ? Is there such a thing as Vital Force ? or does the 
name denote a mere relic of metaphysical fetichism ? Is the doctrine 
of final causes legitimate or illegitimate ? These are a few of the meta- 
physical topics which are suggested by the most elementary study of 
biological facts. But, more than this, it may be truly said that the roots 
of every system of philosophy lie deep among the facts of physiology. 
No one can doubt that the organs and the functions of Sensation are as 
much a part of the province of the physiologist as are the organs and 
functions of motion, or those of digestion ; and yet it is impossible to 
gain an acquaintance with even the rudiments of the physiology of sen- 
sation without being led straight to one of the most fundamental of all 


metaphysical problems. In fact, the sensory operations have been, from 
time immemorial, the battle-ground of philosophers. 

I have more than once taken occasion to point out that we are in- 
debted to Descartes, who happened to be a physiologist as well as a 
philosopher, for the first distinct enunciation of the essential elements 
of the true theory of sensation. In later times, it is not to the works of 
the philosophers, if Hartley and James Mill are excepted, but to those 
of the physiologists, that we must turn for an adequate account of the 
sensory process. Haller's luminous, though summary, account of sen- 
sation in his admirable " Primse Lineae," the first edition of which was 
printed in 1747, offers a striking contrast to the prolixity and confusion 
of thought which pervade Reid's " Inquiry," of seventeen years' later 
date.* Even Sir William Hamilton, learned historian and acute critic 
as he was, not only failed to apprehend the philosophical bearing of 
long-established physiological truths ; but, when he affirmed that there 
is no reason to deny that the mind feels at the finger-points, and none 
to assert that the brain is the sole organ of thought,f he showed that 
he had not apprehended the significance of the revolution commenced, 
two hundred years before his time, by Descartes, and effectively fol- 
lowed up by Haller, Hartley, and Bonnet, in the middle of the last 

In truth, the theory of sensation, except in one point, is, at the pres- 
ent moment, very much where Hartley, led by a hint of Sir Isaac New- 
ton's, left it, when, a hundred and twenty years since, the " Observa- 
tions on Man: his Frame, his Duty, and his Expectations," was laid 
before the world. The whole matter is put in a nutshell in the follow- 
ing passages of this notable book : 

External objects impressed upon the senses occasion, first on the nerves on 
which they are impressed, and then on the brain, vibrations of the small and, as 
we may say, infinitesimal medullary particles. 

These vibrations are motions backward and forward of the small particles ; 

* In justice to Reid, "however, it should be stated that the chapters on Sensation in 
the "Essays on the Intellectual Powers " (1785) exhibit a great improvement. He is, in 
fact, in advance of his commentator, as the note to Essay II., chap, ii., p. 248 of Hamil- 
ton's edition shows. 

\ Haller, amplifying Descartes, writes in the "Primae Lineae," cccxvi. : "Non est 
adeo obscurum sensum omnem oriri ab objecti sensibilis impressione in nervum quem- 
cumque corporis humani, et eamdem per cum nervum ad cerebrum pervenientem tunc 
demum representari animae, quando cerebrum adtigit. Ut etiam hoc falsum sit auimam 
inproximo per sensoria nervorumque ramos sentire." . . . dlvii. : " Dum ergo senti- 
mus quinque diversissima entia conjunguntur : corpus quod sentimus : organi sensorii 
adfectio ab eo corpore : cerebri adfectio a sensorii percussione nata : in anima nata mu- 
tatio: anima? denique conscientia et sensationis adperceptio." Nevertheless, Sir Wil- 
liam Hamilton gravely informs his hearers : " We have no more right to deny that the 
mind feels at the finger-points, as consciousness assures us, than to assert that it thinks 
exclusively in the brain." " Lecture on Metaphysics and Logic," ii., p. 128. " We have 
no reason whatever to doubt the report of consciousness, that we actually perceive at the 
external point of sensation, and that we perceive the material reality." Ibid., p. 129. 


of the same kind with the oscillations of pendulums and the tremblings of the 
particles of sounding bodies. They must be conceived to be exceedingly short 
and small, so as not to have the least efficacy to disturb or move the whole bodies 
of the nerves or brain.* 

The white medullary substance of the brain is also the immediate instrument 
by which ideas are presented to the mind ; or, in other words, whatever changes 
are made in this substance, corresponding changes are made in our ideas ; and 
vice versa.i 

Hartley, like Haller, had no conception of the nature and functions 
of the gray matter of the brain. But, if for " white medullary sub- 
stance," in the latter paragraph, we substitute "gray cellular sub- 
stance," Hartley's propositions embody the most probable conclusions 
which are to be drawn from the latest investigations of physiologists. 
In order to judge how completely this is the case, it will be well to 
study some simple case of sensation, and, following the example of Reid 
and of James Mill, we may begin with the sense of smell. Suppose 
that I become aware of a musky scent, to which the name of " muski- 
ness " may be given. I call this an odor, and I class it along with the 
feelings of light, colors, sounds, tastes, and the like, among those phe- 
nomena which are known as sensations. To say that I am aware of 
this phenomenon, or that I have it, or that it exists, are simply differ- 
ent modes of affirming the same facts. If I am asked how I know that 
it exists, I can only reply that its existence and my knowledge of it 
are one and the same thing ; in short, that my knowledge is immediate 
or intuitive, and, as such, is possessed of the highest conceivable degree 
of certainty. 

The pure sensation of muskiness is almost sure to be followed by a 
mental state which is not a sensation, but a belief, that there is some- 
where close at hand a something on which the existence of the sensa- 
tion depends. It may be a musk-deer, or a musk-rat, or a musk-plant, 
or a grain of dry musk, or simply a scented handkerchief; but former 
experience leads us to believe that the sensation is due to the presence 
of one or other of these objects, and that it will vanish if the object is 
removed. In other words, there arises a belief in an external cause 
of the muskiness, which, in common language, is termed an odorous 

But the manner in which this belief is usually put into words is 
strangely misleading. If we are dealing with a musk-plant, for ex- 
ample, we do not confine ourselves to a simple statement of that which 
we believe, and say that the musk-plant is the cause of the sensation 
called muskiness ; but we say that the plant has a musky smell, and 
we speak of the odor as a quality, or property, inherent in the plant. 

* " Observations on Man," vol. i., p. 11. 

f Ibid., p. 8. The speculations of Bonnet are remarkably similar to those of Hart- 
ley ; and they appear to have originated independently, though the " Essai de Psycho- 
logie" (1754) is of five years' later date than the " Observations on Man " (1749). 


And the inevitable reaction of words upon thought has in this case 
become so complete, and has penetrated so deeply, that when an accu- 
rate statement of the case namely, that muskiness, inasmuch as the 
term denotes nothing but a sensation, is a mental state and has no 
existence except as a mental phenomenon is first brought under the 
notice of common-sense folks, it is usually regarded by them as what 
they are pleased to call a mere metaphysical paradox and a patent ex- 
ample of useless subtilty. Yet the slightest reflection must suffice to con- 
vince any one possessed of sound reasoning faculties that it is as absurd 
to suppose that muskiness is a quality inherent in one plant, as it would 
be to imagine that pain is a quality inherent in another, because we 
feel pain when a thorn pricks the finger. 

Even the common-sense philosopher, par excellence, says of smell : 
" It appears to be a simple and original affection or feeling of the mind, 
altogether inexplicable and unaccountable. It is, indeed, impossible 
that it can be in any body : it is a sensation, and a sensation can only 
be in a sentient thing." * 

That which is true of muskiness is true of every other odor. Lav- 
ender-smell, clove-smell, garlic-smell, are, like "muskiness," names of 
states of consciousness, and have no existence except as such. But, in 
ordinary language, we speak of all these odors as if they were indepen- 
dent entities residing in lavender, cloves, and garlic ; and it is not 
without a certain struggle that the false metaphysic of common sense, 
thus ingrained in us, is expelled. 

It is unnecessary for the present purpose to inquire into the origin 
of our belief in external bodies, or into that of the notion of causation. 
Assuming the existence of an external world, there is no difficulty in 
obtaining experimental proof that, as a general rule, olfactory sensa- 
tions are caused by odorous bodies; and we may pass on to the next 
step of the inquiry namely, how the odorous body produces the effect 
attributed to it. 

The first point to be noted here is another fact revealed by experi- 
ence ; that the appearance of the sensation is governed, not only by 
the presence of the odorous substance, but by the condition of a certain 
part of our corporeal structure, the nose. If the nostrils are closed, the 
presence of the odorous substance does not give rise to the sensation ; 
while, when they are open, the sensation is intensified by the approxi- 
mation of the odorous substance to them, and by snuffing up the adja- 
cent air in such a manner as to draw it into the nose. On the other 

* " An Inquiry into the Human Mind on the Principles of Common Sense, chap, ii., 
sec. 2. Reid affirms that " it is genius and not the want of it that adulterates philosophy, 
and fills it with error and false theory " ; and no doubt his own lucubrations are free 
from the smallest taint of the impurity to which he objects. But, for want of something 
more than that " common sense," which is very common and a little dull, the contemner 
of genius did not notice that the admission here made knocks so big a hole in the bottom 
of " common-sense philosophy " that nothing can save it from foundering in the dreaded 
abyss of Idealism. 


hand, looking at an odorous substance, or rubbing it on the skin, or 
holding it to the ear, does not awaken the sensation. Thus, it can be 
readily established by experiment that the perviousness of the nasal 
passages is, in some way, essential to the sensory function ; in fact, 
that the organ of that function is lodged somewhere in the nasal pas- 
sages. And, since odorous bodies give rise to their effects at consider- * 
able distances, the suggestion is obvious that something must pass from 
them into the sense-organ. What is this something which plays the 
part of an intermediary between the odorous body and the sensory 
organ ? 

The oldest speculation about the matter dates back to Democritus 
and the Epicurean school, and it is to be found fully stated in the fourth 
book of Lucretius. It comes to this : that the surfaces of bodies are 
constantly throwing off excessively attenuated films of their own sub- 
stance ; and that these films, reaching the mind, excite the appropriate 
sensations in it. 

Aristotle did not admit the existence of anv such material films, 
but conceived that it was the form of the substance, and not its mat- 
ter, which affected sense, as a seal impresses wax, without losing any- 
thing in the process. While many, if not the majority, of the school- 
men took up an intermediate position, and supposed that a something 
which was not exactly either material or immaterial, and which they 
called an " intentional species," effected the needful communication 
between the bodily cause of sensation and the mind. 

But all these notions, whatever may be said for or against them in 
general, are fundamentally defective, by reason of an oversight which 
was inevitable, in the state of knowledge at the time in which they 
were promulgated. What the older philosophers did not know, and 
could not know, before the anatomist and physiologist had done his 
work, is that, between the external object and that mind in which they 
supposed the sensation to inhere, there lies a physical obstacle. The 
sense-organ is not a mere passage by which the " tenuia simulacra re- 
rum," or the "intentional species" cast off by objects, or the "forms" 
of sensible things, pass straight to the mind ; on the contrary, it stands 
as a firm and impervious barrier, through which no material particle of 
the world without can make its way to the world within. 

Let us consider the olfactory sense-organ more nearly. Each of the 
nostrils leads into a passage completely separated from the other by a 
partition, and these two passages place the nostrils in free communica- 
tion with the back of the throat, so that they freely transmit the air 
passing to the lungs when the mouth is shut, as in ordinary breathing. 
The floor of each passage is flat, but its roof is a high arch, the crown 
of which is seated between the orbital cavities of the skull, which serve 
for the lodgment and protection of the eyes ; and therefore lies behind 
the apparent limits of that feature which in ordinary language is called 
the nose. From the side walls of the upper and back part of these 


arched chambers certain delicate plates of bone project, and these, as 
well as a considerable part of the partition between the two chambers, 
are covered by a fine, soft, moist membrane. It is to this Schneiderian, 
or olfactory, membrane that odorous bodies must obtain direct access if 
they are to give rise to their appropriate sensations; and it is upon the 
relatively large surface which the olfactory membrane offers that we 
must seek for the seat of the organ of the olfactory sense. The only 
essential part of that organ consists of a multitude of minute, rod-like 
bodies, set perpendicularly to the surface of the membrane, and form- 
ing a part of the cellular coat, or epithelium, which covers the olfactory 
membrane, as the epidermis covers the skin. In the case of the olfac- 
tory sense, there can be no doubt that the Democritic hypothesis, at 
any rate for such odorous substances as musk, has a good foundation. 
Infinitesimal particles of musk fly off from the surface of the odorous 
body, and, becoming diffused through the air, are carried into the nasal 
passages, and thence into the olfactory chambers, where they come 
into contact with the filamentous extremities of the delicate olfactory 

But this is not all. The " mind " is not, so to speak, upon the 
other side of the epithelium. On the contrary, the inner ends of the 
olfactory cells are connected with nerve-fibers, and these nerve-fibers, 
passing into the cavity of the skull,- at length end in a part of the brain, 
the olfactory sensorium. It is certain that the integrity of each, and 
the physical interconnection of all these three structures, the epithe- 
lium of the sensory organ, the nerve-fibers, and the sensorium, are 
essential conditions of ordinary sensation. That is to say, the air in 
the olfactory chambers may be charged with particles of musk ; but, if 
either the epithelium, or the nerve-fibers, or the sensorium is injured, 
or physically disconnected from one another, sensation will not arise. 
Moreover, the epithelium may be said to be receptive, the nerve-fibers 
transmissive, and the sensorium sensifacient. For, in the act of smell- 
ing, the particles of the odorous substance produce a molecular change 
(which Hartley was in all probability right in terming a vibration) in 
the epithelium, and this change, being transmitted to the nerve-fibers, 
passes along them with a measurable velocity, and- finally reaching the 
sensorium, is immediately followed by the sensation. 

Thus, modern investigation supplies a representative of the Epicu- 
rean simulacra in the volatile particles of the musk ; but it also gives 
us the stamp of the particles on the olfactory epithelium, without any 
transmission of matter, as the equivalent of the Aristotelian "form"; 
while, finally, the modes of motion of the molecules of the olfactory 
cell, of the nerve, and of the cerebral sensorium, which are Hartley's 
vibrations, may stand very well for a double of the " intentional species" 
of the schoolmen. And this last remark is not intended merely to sug- 
gest a fanciful parallel ; for. if the cause of the sensation is, as analogy 
suggests, to be sought in the mode of motion of the object of sense, 


then it is quite possible that the particular mode of motion of the object 
is reproduced in the sensorium ; exactly as the diaphragm of a telephone 
reproduces the mode of motion taken up at its receiving- end. In other 
words, the secondary " intentional species " may be, as the schoolmen 
thought the primary one was, the last link between matter and mind. 

None the less, however, does it remain true that no similarity exists, 
nor indeed is conceivable, between the cause of the sensation and the 
sensation. Attend as closely to the sensations of muskiness, or any 
other odor, as we will, no trace of extension, resistance, or motion is 
discernible in them. They have no attribute in common with those 
which we ascribe to matter ; they are, in the strictest sense of the 
words, immaterial entities. 

Thus, the most elementary study of sensation justifies Descartes's 
position, that we know more of mind than we do of body; that the im- 
material world is a firmer reality than the material. For the sensation 
"muskiness" is known immediately. So long as it persists, it is a part 
of what we call our thinking selves, and its existence lies beyond the 
possibility of doubt. The knowledge of an objective or material cause 
of the sensation, on the other hand, is mediate ; it is a belief as contra- 
distinguished from an intuition ; and it is a belief which, in any given 
instance of sensation, may, by possibility, be devoid of foundation. 
For odors, like other sensations, may arise from the occurrence of the 
appropriate molecular changes in the nerve or in the sensorium, by the 
operation of a cause distinct from the affection of the sense-organ by an 
odorous body. Such " subjective " sensations are as real existences as 
any others, and as distinctly suggest an external odorous object as their 
cause ; but the belief thus generated is a delusion. And, if beliefs are 
properly termed " testimonies of consciousness," then undoubtedly the 
testimony of consciousness may be, and often is, untrustworthy. 

Another very important consideration arises out of the facts as they 
are now known. That which, in the absence of a knowledge of the physi- 
ology of sensation, we call the cause of the smell, and term the odorous 
object, is only such, mediately, by reason of its emitting particles which 
give rise to a mode of motion in the sense-organ. The sense-organ, 
again, is only a mediate cause by reason of its producing a molecular 
change in the nerve-fiber; while this last change is also only a mediate 
cause of sensation, depending, as it does, upon the change which it ex- 
cites in the sensorium. 

The sense-organ, the nerve, and the sensorium, taken together, con- 
stitute the sensiferous apparatus. They make up the thickness of the 
wall between the mind, as represented by the sensation "muskiness," 
and the object, as represented by the particle of musk in contact with 
the olfactory epithelium. 

It will be observed that the sensiferous wall and the external world 
are of the same nature ; whatever it is that constitutes them both is ex- 
pressible in terms of matter and motion. Whatever changes take place 



in the sensiferous apparatus are continuous with, and similar to, those 
which take place in the external world.* But, with the sensoriura, mat- 
ter and motion come to an end ; while phenomena of another order, or 
immaterial states of consciousness, make their appearance. How is the 
relation between the material and the immaterial phenomena to be con- 
ceived ? This is the metaphysical problem of problems, and the solu- 
tions which have been suggested have been made the corner-stones of 
systems of philosophy. Three mutually irreconcilable readings of the 
riddle have been offered. 

The first is, that an immaterial substance of mind exists ; and that 
it is affected by the mode of motion of the sensorium in such a way as 
to give rise to the sensation. 

The second is, that the sensation is a direct effect of the mode of 
motion of the sensorium, brought about without the intervention of any 
substance of mind. 

The third is, that the sensation is neither directly, nor indirectly, an 
effect of the mode of motion of the sensorium, but that it has an inde- 
pendent cause. Properly speaking, therefore, it is not an effect of the 
motion of the sensorium, but a concomitant of it. 

As none of these hypotheses is capable of even an approximation to 
demonstration, it is almost needless to remark that they have been sev- 
erally held with tenacity and advocated with passion. I do not think 
it can be said of any of the three that it is inconceivable, or that it can 
be assumed on a priori grounds to be impossible. 

Consider the first, for example; an immaterial substance is perfectly 
conceivable. In fact, it is obvious that, if we possessed no sensations 

* The following diagrammatic scheme may help to elucidate the theory of sensation: 
Mediate Knowledge 

Sensiferous Apparatus 


Objects of Sense 


Substance of 


Receptive Transmissive Sensificatory 
(Sense-Organ) (Nerve) (Sensorium) 

Sensations and 

other States of 



Substance of 


Physical World 

Mental World 

Not Self 


Non-Ego or Object. 

Ego or Subject 

Immediate Knowledge is confined to states of consciousness, or, in other words, to the 
phenomena of mind. Knowledge of the physical world, or of one's own body and of ob- 
jects external to it, is a system of beliefs or judgments based on the sensations. The 
term " self" is applied not only to the series of mental phenomena which constitute the 
ego, but to the fragment of the physical world which is their constant concomitant. The 
corporeal self, therefore, is part of the non-ego ; and is objective in relation to the ego as 


but those of smell and hearing, we should be unable to conceive a ma- 
terial substance. We might have a conception of time, but could have 
none of extension, or of resistance, or of motion. And without the 
three latter conceptions no idea of matter could be formed. Our whole 
knowledge would be limited to that of a shifting succession of immate- 
rial phenomena. But, if an immaterial substance may exist, it may 
have any conceivable properties ; and sensation may be one of them. 
All these propositions may be affirmed with complete dialectic safety, 
inasmuch as they can not possibly be disproved ; but neither can a par- 
ticle of demonstrative evidence be offered in favor of them. 

As regards the second hypothesis, it certainly is not inconceivable, 
and therefore it may be true, that sensation is the direct effect of certain 
kinds of bodily motion. It is just as easy to suppose this as to suppose, 
on. the former hypothesis, that bodily motion affects an immaterial sub- 
stance. But neither is it susceptible of proof. 

And, as to the third hypothesis, since the logic of induction is in no 
case competent to prove that events apparently standing in the relation 
of cause and effect may not both be effects of a common cause that 
also is as safe from refutation, if as incapable of demonstration, as the 
other two. 

In my own opinion, neither of these speculations can be regarded 
seriously as anything but a more or less convenient working hypothesis. 
But, if I must choose among them, I take the " law of parcimony " for 
my guide, and select the simplest namely, that the sensation is the 
direct effect of the mode of motion of the sensorium. It may justly be 
said that this is not the slightest explanation of sensation ; but then 
am I really any the wiser, if I say that a sensation is an activity (of 
which I know nothing) of a substance of mind (of which also I know 
nothing) ? Or, if I say that the Deity causes the sensation to arise in 
my mind immediately after he has caused the particles of the sensorium 
to move in a certain way, is anything gained ? In truth, a sensation, 
as we have already seen, is an intuition a part of immediate knowl- 
edge. As such it is an ultimate fact and inexplicable ; and all that we 
can hope to find out about it, and that indeed is worth finding out, is 
its relation to other natural facts. That relation appears to me to be 
sufficiently expressed, for all practical purposes, by saying that sensa- 
tion is the invariable consequent of certain changes in the sensorium 
or, in other words, that, so far as we know, the change in the sensorium 
is the cause of the sensation. 

I permit myself to imagine that the untutored, if noble, savage of 
common sense who has been misled into reading thus far by the hope 
of getting positive solid information about sensation, giving way to not 
unnatural irritation, may here interpellate : " The upshot of all this 
long disquisition is, that we are profoundly ignorant. We knew that 
to begin with, and you have merely furnished another example of the 
emptiness and uselessness of metaphysics." But I venture to reply, 


pardon me, you were ignorant, but you did not know it. On the con- 
trary, you thought you knew a great deal, and were quite satisfied with 
the particularly absurd metaphysical notions which you were pleased to 
call the teachings of common sense. You thought that your sensations 
were properties of external things, and had an existence outside of your- 
self. You thought that you knew more about material than you do 
about immaterial existences. And if, as a wise man has assured us, 
the knowledge of what we don't know is the next best thing to the 
knowledge of what we cio know, this brief excursion into the province 
of philosophy has been highly profitable. 

Of all the dangerous mental habits, that which schoolboys call " cock- 
sureness " is probably the most perilous ; and the inestimable value of 
metaphysical discipline is, that it furnishes an effectual counterpoise to 
this evil proclivity. Whoso has mastered the elements of philosophy 
knows that the attribute of unquestionable certainty appertains only to 
the existence of a state of consciousness so long as it exists ; all other 
beliefs are mere probabilities of a higher or lower order. Sound meta- 
physic is an amulet which renders its possessor proof alike against the 
poison of superstition and the counter-poison of nihilism ; by showing 
that the affirmations of the former and the denials of the latter alike 
deal with matters about which, for lack of evidence, nothing can -be 
either affirmed or denied. 

I have dwelt at length upon the nature and origin of our sensations 
of smell, on account of the comparative freedom of the olfactory sense 
from the complications which are met with in most of the other senses. 

Sensations of taste, however, are generated in almost as simple a 
fashion as those of smell. In this case, the sense-organ is the epithelium 
which covers the tongue and the palate ; and which sometimes, be- 
coming modified, gives rise to peculiar organs termed " gustatory 
bulbs," in which the epithelial cells elongate and assume a somewhat 
rod-like form. Nerve-fibers connect the sensory organ with the sen- 
sorium, and tastes or flavors are states of consciousness caused by the 
change of molecular state of the latter. In the case of the sense of 
touch there is often no sense-organ distinct from the general epider- 
mis. But many fishes and amphibia exhibit local modifications of the 
epidermic cells which are sometimes extraordinarily like the gustatory 
bulbs ; more commonly, both in lower and higher animals, the effect 
of the contact of external bodies is intensified by the development of 
hair-like filaments, or of true hairs, the bases of which are in immediate 
relation with the ends of the sensory nerves. Every one must have 
noticed the extreme delicacy of the sensations produced by the contact 
of bodies with the ends of the hairs of the head ; and the " whiskers " 
of cats owe their functional importance to the abundant supply of nerves 
to the follicles in which their bases are lodged. What part, if any, the 
so-called "tactile corpuscles," "end-bulbs," and "Pacinian bodies" play 


in the mechanism of touch is unknown. If they are sense-organs, they 
are exceptional in character, in so far as they do not appear to be modi- 
fications of the epidermis. Nothing is known respecting the sense- 
organs of those sensations of resistance which are grouped under the 
head of the muscular sense ; nor of the sensations of warmth and cold ; 
nor of that very singular sensation which we call tickling. 

In the case of heat and cold, the organism not only becomes affected 
by external bodies, far more remote than those which affect the sense 
of smell, but the Democritic hypothesis is obviously no longer permis- 
sible. When the direct rays of the sun fall upon the skin, the sensation 
of heat is certainly not caused by " attenuated films " thrown off from 
that luminary, but to a mode of motion which is transmitted to us. In 
Aristotelian phrase, it is the form without the matter of the sun which 
stamps the sense-organ ; and this, translated into modern language, 
means nearly the same thing as Hartley's vibrations. Thus we are pre- 
pared for what happens in the case of the auditory and the visual 
senses. For neither the ear nor the eye receives anything but the im- 
pulses or vibrations originated by sonorous or luminous bodies. Never- 
theless, the receptive apparatus still consists of nothing but specially 
modified epithelial cells. In the labyrinth of the ear of the higher ani- 
mals the free ends of these cells terminate in excessively delicate hair- 
like filaments ; while, in the lower forms of auditory organ, its free sur- 
face is beset with delicate hairs like those of the surface of the body, 
and the transmissive nerves are connected with the bases of these hairs. 
Thus there is an insensible gradation in the forms of the receptive ap- 
paratus, from the organ of touch, on the one hand, to those of taste and 
smell ; and, on the other hand, to that of hearing. Even in the case of 
the most refined of all the sense-organs, that of vision, the receptive 
apparatus departs but little from the general type. The only essential 
constituent of the visual sense-organ is the retina, which forms so small 
a part of the eyes of the higher animals ; and the simplest eyes are 
nothing but portions of the integument, in which the cells of the epi- 
dermis have become converted into glassy, rod-like retinal corpuscles. 
The outer ends of these are turned toward the light ; their sides are 
more or less extensively coated with a dark pigment, and their inner 
ends are connected with the transmissive nerve-fibers. The light im- 
pinging on these visual rods produces a change in them which is com- 
municated to the nerve-fibers, and, being transmitted to the sensorium, 
gives rise to the sensation if indeed all animals which possess eyes are 
endowed with what we understand as sensation. 

In the higher animals, a complicated apparatus of lenses, arranged 
on the principle of a camera obscura, serves at once to concentrate 
and to individualize the pencils of light proceeding from external 
bodies. But the essential part of the organ of vision is still a layer of 
cells which have the form of rods with truncated or conical ends. By 
what seems a strange anomaly, however, the glassy ends of these 
vol. xv. 1 


are turned not toward, but away from, the light ; and the latter has 
to traverse the layer of nervous tissues with which their outer ends are 
connected, before it can affect them. Moreover, the rods and cones of 
the vertebrate retina are so deeply seated, and in many respects so 
peculiar in character, that it appears impossible, at first sight, that they 
can have anything to do with that epidermis of which gustatory and 
tactile, and at any rate the lower forms of auditory and visual, organs 
are obvious modifications. 

Whatever be the apparent diversities among the sensiferous appara- 
tuses, however, they share certain common characters. Each consists 
of a receptive, a transmissive, and a sensificatory portion. The essen- 
tial part of the first is an epithelium, of the second, nerve-fibers, of the 
third, a part of the brain ; the sensation is always the consequence of 
the mode of motion excited in the receptive, and sent along the trans- 
missive, to the sensorial part of the sensiferous apparatus. And, in all 
the senses, there is no likeness whatever between the object of sense, 
which is matter in motion, and the sensation, which is an immaterial 

On the hypothesis which appears to me to be the most convenient, 
sensation is a product of the sensiferous apparatus caused by certain 
modes of motion which are set up in it by impulses from without. 
The sensiferous apparatuses are, as it were, factories, all of which at 
the one end receive raw materials of a similar kind namely, modes of 
motion while at the other each turns out a special product, the feel- 
ing which constitutes the kind of sensation characteristic of it. 

Or, to make use of a closer comparison, each sensiferous apparatus 
is comparable to a musical box wound up, with as many tunes as there 
are separate sensations. The object of a simple sensation is the agent 
which presses down the stop of one of these tunes, and the more feeble 
the agent, the more delicate must be the mobility of the stop.* 

But, if this be the case, if the recipient part of the sensiferous 
apparatus is in all cases merely a mechanism affected by coarser or 
finer kinds of material motion, we might expect to find that all sense- 
organs are fundamentally alike, and result from the modification of 
the same morphological elements. And this is exactly what does result 
from all recent histological and embryological investigations. 

It has been seen that the receptive part of the olfactory apparatus 
is a slightly modified epithelium, which lines an olfactory chamber 
deeply seated between the orbits in adult human beings. But, if we 
trace back the nasal chambers to their origin in the embryo, we find 
that, to begin with, they are mere depressions of the skin of the fore- 
part of the head, lined by a continuation of the general epidermis. 
These depressions become pits, and the pits, by the growth of the ad- 
jacent parts, gradually acquire the position which they finally occupy. 

* " Chaque fibre est une espece de touche ou de marteau destine a rendre un certain 
ton." Bonnet, "Essai de Psychologie," chap. iv. 


The olfactory organ, therefore, is a specially modified part of the gen- 
eral integument. 

The human ear would seem to present greater difficulties. For the 
essential part of the sense-organ, in this case, is the membranous laby- 
rinth, a bag of complicated form, which lies buried in the depths of the 
floor of the skull, and is surrounded by dense and solid bone. Here, 
however, recourse to the study of development readily unravels the 
mystery. Shortly after the time when the olfactory organ appears as 
a depression of the skin on the side of the fore-part of the head, the 
auditory organ appears as a similar depression on the side of its back 
part. The depression, rapidly deepening, becomes a small pouch, and 
then, the communication with the exterior becoming shut off, the pouch 
is converted into a closed bag, the epithelial lining of which is a part of 
the general epidermis segregated from the rest. The adjacent tissues, 
changing first into cartilage and then into bone, inclose the auditorv 
sac in a strong case, in which it undergoes its further metamorphoses ; 
while the drum, the ear-bones, and the external ear are superadded by 
no less extraordinary modifications of the adjacent parts. Still more 
marvelous is the history of the development of the organ of vision. 
In the place of the eye, as in that of the nose and that of the ear, the 
young embryo presents a depression of the general integument ; but, 
in man and the higher animals, this does not give rise to the proper 
sensory organ, but only to part of the accessory structures concerned 
in vision. In fact, this depression, deepening and becoming converted 
into a shut sac, produces only the cornea, the aqueous humor, and the 
crystalline lens of the perfect eye. 

The retina is added to this by the outgrowth of the wall of a por- 
tion of the brain into a sort of bag or sac with a narrow neck, the con- 
vex bottom of which is turned outward or toward the crystalline lens. 
As the development of the eye proceeds, the convex bottom of the bag 
becomes pushed in, so that it gradually obliterates the cavity of the 
sac, the previously convex wall of which becomes deeply concave. The 
sac of the brain is now like a double nightcap ready for the head, but 
the place which the head would occupy is taken by the vitreous humor, 
while the layer of nightcap next it becomes the retina. The cells of 
this layer which lie farthest from the vitreous humor, or, in other words, 
bound the original cavity of the sac, are metamorphosed into the rods 
and cones. Suppose now that the sac of the brain could be brought 
back to its original form ; then the rods and cones would form part of 
the lining of a side pouch of the brain. But one of the most wonder- 
ful revelations of embryology is the proof of the fact that the brain 
itself is, at its first beginning, merely an infolding of the epidermic 
layer of the general integument. Hence it follows that the rods and 
cones of the vertebrate eye are modified epidermic cells, as much as 
the crystalline cones of the insect or crustacean eye are ; and that 
the inversion of the position of the former in relation to light arises 


simply from the roundabout way in which the vertebrate retina is de- 

Thus all the higher sense-organs start from one foundation, and the 
receptive epithelium of the eye, or of the ear, is as much modified epi- 
dermis as is that of the nose. The structural unity of the sense-organs 
is the morphological parallel to their identity of physiological function, 
which, as we have seen, is to be impressed by certain modes of motion ; 
and they are fine or coarse in proportion to the delicacy or the strength 
of the impulses by which they are to be affected. 

In ultimate analysis, then, it appears that a sensation is the equiva- 
lent in terms of consciousness for a mode of motion of the matter of 
the sensorium. But, if inquiry is pushed a stage further, and the ques- 
tion is asked, What then do we know about matter and motion? there 
is but one reply possible. All that we know about motion is that it is 
a name for certain changes in the relations of our visual, tactile, and 
muscular sensations ; and all that we know about matter is that it is 
the hypothetical substance of physical phenomena the assumption of 
the existence of which is as pure a piece of metaphysical speculation 
as that of the substance of mind. 

Our sensations, our pleasures, our pains, and the relations of these 
make up the sum total of the elements of positive, unquestionable 
knowledge. We call a large section of these sensations and their re- 
lations matter and motion ; the rest we term mind and thinking ; and 
experience shows that there is a certain constant order of succession 
between some of the former and some of the latter. 

This is all that just metaphysical criticism leaves of the idols set up 
by the spurious metaphysics of vulgar common sense. It is consistent 
either with pure Materialism, or with pure Idealism, but it is neither. 
For the Idealist, not content with declaring the truth that our knowl- 
edge is limited to facts of consciousness, affirms the wholly unprovable 
proposition that nothing exists beyond these and the substance of mind. 
And, on the other hand, the Materialist, holding by the truth that, for 
anything that appears to the contrarj^, material phenomena are the 
causes of mental phenomena, asserts his unprovable dogma, that ma- 
terial phenomena and the substance of matter are the sole primary 

Strike out the propositions about which neither controversialist does 
or can know anything, and there is nothing left for them to quarrel about. 
Make a desert of the Unknowable, and the divine Astraea of philosophic 
peace will commence her blessed reign. Nineteenth Century. 



Br Peofessoe PATTISON MUIE. 

TN his "Preliminary Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy," 
J- Sir John Herschel remarks upon the importance of examining those 
phenomena of nature which are not wholly explicable in terms of anv 
well-established theory. Instances of such residual phenomena, as Sir 
John Herschel terms them, are given in the discourse. 

Newton's theory of comets, viz., that these bodies obey the law of 
gravitation while revolving in oblique orbits round the sun, appeared 
to account for the facts which had been noticed concerning the comet 
of Halley ; but the period calculated for Encke's comet, on this hy- 
pothesis, was found to be rather longer than the actual, observed period, 
and, moreover, the duration of the observed period showed a small but 
regular diminution. Hence, Newton's theory, taken alone, was not 
sufficient to account for the facts. But, inasmuch as Newton's law of 
gravitation rested upon a sure and well-established foundation, the fact 
observed concerning Encke's comet could not be regarded as disproving 
the law ; hence these facts were to be explained by tracing them to the 
action of some agent either of known or of, as yet, unknown nature. 

The regularly diminishing period of Encke's comet remained a resid- 
ual phenomenon, not contradicting the law of gravitation, but awaiting 
full explanation. 

A residual phenomenon is, then, a phenomenon which is not fully 
explained by any established theory ; but at the same time it is not a 
phenomenon which is absolutely contradictory to any such theory, for, 
if this were the case, the theory in question must perforce be aban- 

Advances are made in natural science by a judicious use of hypoth- 
eses. Facts are accurately observed, or are gained by exact experiment, 
and are compared with facts ; inferences are drawn, and are compared 
with other inferences, until a good working hypothesis is attained. 
From this hypothesis deductions are made which must necessarily prove 
true if the hypothesis be correct ; the truth or falsity of the alleged 
facts is tested by an appeal to Nature ; and so wider hypotheses are 
gained, each in turn being tested and tried by an appeal to facts, until, 
finally, that generalization is reached which includes in its expression so 
many and so varied phenomena that to it is given the name of a " law 
of Nature." 

But notwithstanding the sure and tried foundations upon which each 
law of nature rests, phenomena ever and anon become apparent which 
refuse to be completely explained by any of these laws. Upon more 
careful examination, it may be found that such phenomena have been 
erroneously observed, and they may be brought under the application 


of a known law, acting perhaps in a peculiar and even unprecedented 
manner. In such cases the phenomena cease to be residual phenomena. 

But, on the other hand, some of the observed phenomena may resist 
every attempt made to explain them ; they may refuse to retire from 
the list of established facts, and at the same time refuse to find their 
full explanation in terms of any well-established law. But, while so 
doing, these phenomena may also not be opposed to the law ; they may 
not be contradictory to, but simply not wholly explainable by, any 
known law 'of nature. 

Instances of the valuable results which have been obtained by the 
exact investigation of residual phenomena are numerous in every branch 
of natural science. One of the most striking is furnished by Newton's 
investigation of the atmospheric velocity of sound. 

Newton showed that the velocity of sound in air might be calculated 
from certain theoretical considerations; a rough measurement of the 
actual velocity gave him a number differing very considerably from that 
which his theory required. Later and more exact experiments failed 
to explain the discrepancy, but in 1816 Laplace gave an explanation of 
the seemingly exceptional phenomenon, which not only sustained the 
theory of Newton, but also paved the way to the modern doctrine of 
the equivalency of heat and mechanical work. In the residual phenom- 
enon which was left unexplained by Newton lay the germ of one of the 
greatest advances made by science in recent years. 

Another striking instance of the value of residual phenomena is to 
be found in the history of chemical science. 

From his experiments upon combustion, Lavoisier concluded that 
the peculiar properties of acids are due to the presence of the element 
oxygen in these bodies. But an undoubtedly acid substance was known 
(muriatic acid) from which no oxygen could be obtained. Here was a 
residual phenomenon a phenomenon not absolutely contradictory of 
the law, that that group of bodies called acids is characterized by the 
presence of oxygen, but certainly a phenomenon demanding accurate 
investigation. Closer examination might have shown that the acid sup- 
posed to contain no oxygen was not really free from that element, or it 
might have led to the adoption of a higher generalization concerning 
the nature of the group " acids," or, lastly, it might have necessitated 
an entire alteration in the terms of Lavoisier's so-called law. 

Chemists, however, for many years contented themselves with as- 
serting that, as Lavoisier had pronounced oxygen to be the acidifying 
principle, and as muriatic acid was undoubtedly a true acid, this body 
must contain oxygen. But Sir Humphry Davy showed that an accu- 
rate examination of the residual phenomenon presented by muriatic 
acid led to a more extended and more exact knowledge of the nature 
of acids, and necessitated a change in the prevalent views concerning 
these bodies. The views of Lavoisier were found to express a truth, 
but not the whole truth ; fresh incitement was given to research, and 



fresh advances were quickly made in the knowledge of groups of com- 
pound bodies. 

But there is another way in which the investigation of residual 
phenomena may aid, and has largely aided, the advance of scientific 

Phenomena, regarded as residual, have not unfrequently been shown 
to be completely explicable in terms of a known law ; and thus fresh 
light has been thrown upon the modifying influence exerted on the ac- 
tion of the law by the conditions under which the law acts. 

The orbit of Lexell's comet was accurately determined ; neverthe- 
less, the comet failed to appear at the proper time. Here, surely, was 
a phenomenon which could not be explained by the law of gravitation 
alone : hypotheses, plausible and probable in themselves, were broached 
to account for the apparently exceptional phenomenon. But subse- 
quent investigation showed that that appearance of the comet, from 
observations of which the orbit had been calculated, was due to the 
disturbing influence of one of the members of the solar system (proba- 
bly of Jupiter) whereby the comet had been dragged within the limits 
of our vision, but that this visit to earthly spheres was altogether ab- 
normal : the phenomenon presented by the visit of the comet was en- 
tirely explicable in terms of the law of gravitation. 

What could be more opposed to our ordinary notions concerning 
the effects of heat than the fact that water should be frozen in a red- 
hot vessel ? But this phenomenon, apparently inexplicable in terms of 
any known law, upon exact investigation finds demonstrable explana- 
tion without recourse being had to the action of an unknown agent. 
The experiment is carried out by pouring liquid sulphur dioxide a 
liquid which boils at a temperature lower than that of the freezing- 
point of water into a red-hot platinum crucible, immediately adding a 
little water, and quickly turning out the ice which is produced. 

Experiment shows that when a liquid is suddenly brought into con- 
tact with a highly heated smooth surface, vapor is evolved which sur- 
rounds the mass of liquid as it were with a screen through which the 
heat, radiated from the hot surface underneath, passes but slowly ; the 
liquid thus rests upon a cushion of its own vapor, and does not touch 
the hot surface beneath. The temperature of a mass of liquid in this 
[spheroidal) condition is lower than that at which the liquid boils. 
Now, as liquid sulphur dioxide boils at a temperature lower than that 
at which water freezes, and as immediately the liquid touches the 
heated platinum crucible it is partially vaporized, and the residual liquid 
is then floated, so to speak, upon the stratum of gas so produced, it fol- 
lows that, so long as this condition is maintained, the liquid contents of 
the crucible are at a very low temperature; hence the temperature of 
the water coming into contact with this cold liquid is greatly reduced, 
and the water is frozen. 

Exact investigation of this phenomenon, therefore, adds much to 


our knowledge of the laws which govern the vaporization of liquids, 
and shows us these laws at work under peculiar conditions, while at the 
same time it brings the apparently exceptional phenomenon under the 
domain of a known law. Once more, the examination of residual phe- 
nomena may be, and has often been, of immense service to science, in 
freeing naturalists from the tyranny of an established theory which has 
for long been regarded as of necessity affording a full explanation of 
the entire series of facts to which it is applied. 

The tyranny of orthodoxy is not unknown in science. The over- 
throw of that tyranny is one result of the investigation of residual phe- 

During the greater part of the eighteenth century the theory of 
Phlogiston was all-prevalent in chemistry. According to this theory, 
when a body burns, it gives out a something called Phlogiston^ the 
escape of this mystical something being the cause of the phenomena 
which attend the combustion. 

This theory accounted in a fairly satisfactory manner for the greater 
number of the observed facts. One little fact, however, was scarcely 
explicable by the Phlogistic theory. So far as rough measurement went, 
the weight of the burned body appeared to be greater than that of the 
body previous to combustion. This residual fact was long overlooked, 
but the genius of Lavoisier forbade him to pass over so important a 
circumstance. By repeated and exact experiment, Lavoisier established 
the correctness of the residual phenomenon, and he showed that the 
phenomenon was inexplicable in terms of the commonly accepted 

Modern research has taught us that the fact firmly established by 
Lavoisier is not absolutely contradictory of a modified Phlogistic the- 
ory ; but Lavoisier's work necessitated a thorough revisal of the preva- 
lent theory of combustion, and prepared the way for great advances 
which have at last enabled us to reconcile his theory with that of the 
Phlogisteans in modified form. Had Lavoisier consented to overlook 
the seemingly little fact that a body after burning is heavier than it 
was before, chemical science would probably have been for many years 
compelled to submit to the thralldom of the Phlogistic theory, which, in 
its then accepted form, barred the path of true advance. 

When Galileo's telescope discovered to the gaze of the astronomer 
the satellites of Jupiter, did not those in authority protest most vehe- 
mently against the residual phenomenon ? Why ? Because they saw 
that this phenomenon could not be made to fit into the accepted cosmi- 
cal theories of the day : not only was it inexplicable in terms of these 
theories, but it was absolutely opposed to them. Galileo, however, 
persisted, the phenomenon was more fully investigated, and the science 
of astronomy was placed upon a sure basis ; the reign of mere authority 
in scientific matters was brought to an end, and Nature was installed as 
the supreme adjudicator in all matters of scientific inquiry. 


But the examination of residual phenomena may also help to free 
investigators from that tyranny which is exerted by a number of con- 
cordant results, all seemingly pointing to but one conclusion. 

If experiment after experiment points to one conclusion, and if all, 
with the exception of perhaps a single residual fact, is in favor of this 
conclusion, it is hard to resist the temptation to ignore that fact, and 
adopt what, but for it, is apparently the true conclusion. But this 
method is not the scientific method. The fact must be examined. It 
may be that the outstanding fact is finally reduced within the sphere 
of the previously adopted hypothesis, or it may be that a new hypothe- 
sis is suggested which explains this and all the other phenomena. 

The great Swedish chemist Berzelius carefully examined the prop- 
erties of the compounds of a newly discovered element ; he determined 
the chemical and physical characteristics of this element, to which he 
gave the name of Vanadium. The facts ascertained by the experiments 
of Berzelius formed a concordant series ; so far as these experiments 
extended, everything appeared to be in keeping with the conclusions 
arrived at by him. But it was afterward noticed that the crystalline 
form of certain compounds of the metal vanadium was different from 
that required by the commonly accepted and, as it appeared, well-estab- 
lished theories concerning the connection between crystalline form and 
chemical structure. The examination, by Roscoe, of the residual phe- 
nomena presented by the crystalline forms of the vanadium compounds 
led to the astonishing discovery that the so-called metallic vanadium 
of Berzelius was really not an elementary body, but a compound of the 
true metal vanadium with oxygen. This peculiar oxide presents most 
of the physical properties of a metal ; indeed, so metal-like is this 
oxide that the presence in it of oxygen was entirely overlooked, even 
by so careful a worker as Berzelius. 

The researches of Roscoe threw a new light upon the chemical his- 
tory of vanadium, and at the same time confirmed in a marked manner 
the law connecting chemical structure with crystalline form. 

But, lastly, the study of residual phenomena may aid in freeing our 
minds from that fascinating, but surely erroneous, idea which a mere 
superficial acquaintance with natural science tends so much to strength- 
en, viz., that Nature is, and indeed must be, extremely simple. 

The simplicity of Nature is a favorite theme with a certain class of 
would-be philosophers : it is a doctrine easily accepted, but a doctrine 
which has led to pernicious results. 

Extreme instances of the overruling power of this idea may be found 
in the fascination exerted over minds, even of the highest order, by nu- 
merical analogies, that are really baseless. The seven colors of the 
spectrum were supposed, even by the great master himself, to have 
some mysterious connection with the seven tones of music. The num- 
ber of the satellites of Jupiter added to the single satellite of the earth 
leaves but one satellite for Saturn, if the perfect number six is to be 


made up ; hence Huygens concluded that Saturn could have but one 

When chemistry emerged as a distinct branch of science from the 
superstitions and conceits which had so long overshadowed her, the 
line of demarkation between chemical and mechanical action was made 
clear and unmistakable. On this side were ranged all phenomena purely 
mechanical ; on that, all phenomena purely chemical. Nature's laws 
must be simple. One great fact was predicated of each class of phe- 
nomena the distinction was a simple distinction. But as Nature's 
facts were more thoroughly searched into, phenomena were remarked 
which tended to discredit the extreme simplicity of the division into 
chemical and mechanical actions ; those phenomena were passed by as 
too trivial for serious notice. But the residual phenomena at last forced 
themselves upon the attention of chemists ; and one great result of the 
examination of these phenomena has been the discovery that the simple 
classification into chemical phenomena on that side and mechanical on 
this was too simple was, in fact, an artificial classification ; that there 
is no sharp line of demarkation in Nature, but that a series of facts ex- 
ists which bridges over the gulf formerly supposed to be fixed between 
the two sets of phenomena. 

The earlier study of biological science tended to show a great sim- 
plicity in the vital processes occurring among all living things ; but the 
more advanced study of the same science has altogether overthrown 
the simplicity of the earlier scheme. Certain animals, and classes of 
animals, seem deliberately to adopt strange expedients for reproducing 
their kind, as if to warn us against such hasty generalizations. How 
should we have imagined the possibility of fertilization for successive 
generations, of hermaphroditism, or of reproduction by fissure, etc., 
being found among the methods Avhich Nature adopts for replenishing 
the earth, had we contented ourselves with an examination of the com- 
paratively simple methods of ordinary sexual reproduction ? 

The importance of residual phenomena is undoubtedly great ; the 
difficulties which attend the study of these phenomena are likewise 

A phenomenon, supposed to be residual, may be found on closer ex- 
amination to be fully explained by some known law, acting either under 
ordinary or under modified conditions. Before, therefore, attempting 
to find a new hypothesis which shall explain the residual phenomenon, 
it is necessary to determine the fact of the phenomenon being truly 
residual. Of course, if an explanation be found for the seemingly in- 
explicable phenomenon without the necessity of introducing a new hy- 
pothesis, a distinct step has been made in scientific advance. If, how- 
ever, the phenomenon refuse to be explained by any known law, a new 
hypothesis must be found, or the old must be modified so as to admit of 
an explanation being given for the hitherto inexplicable fact. 

Of the new hypotheses which present themselves to the mind, which 


shall be chosen? That which is clear and definite, and from which 
results can be deduced in a form which permits of their being tested by 

If such an hypothesis be found, it then becomes necessary to ask, 
Does this hypothesis explain facts other than those included in the 
special residual phenomenon under consideration ? An hypothesis which 
explains, or seems to explain, an isolated phenomenon, but which does 
not include other phenomena within its grasp, or which does not leap to 
the discovery of hitherto unknown facts, may be a true hypothesis, but 
it is certainly one which must be accepted with caution, and only pro- 
visionally until a better be found. 

Finally, the new hypothesis must be in keeping with the well-estab- 
lished laws of nature. An hypothesis which contradicts any of these 
can not be accepted, although it may explain the special phenomenon to 
give a reason for which it has been called into existence. 

The recent history of natural science furnishes many examples of 
the use of residual phenomena. Let me mention two only : one, in 
which an hypothesis has been suggested, proved, and adopted ; another, 
in which the value of the hypothesis suggested is not yet finally deter- 

It is well known that plants derive their support from the air and 
the soil ; that support consists partly of mineral, partly of vegetable 
matter. But the curious fact was noticed that the leaves of certain 
plants frequently had adhering to them remains of insects or even entire 
insects. Following up this fact, Mr. Darwin and others have estab- 
lished the generalization that members of more than one species of 
plants derive their nourishment mainly from animal matter, and that 
these plants thrive better upon such food than upon the ordinary kinds 
of plant-food. Thus another thread has been added to the bond which 
visibly connects the animal and vegetable kingdoms. 

The chemical elements have long been regarded as truly elementary 
bodies, that is, as bodies from which no form of matter other than 
themselves can be obtained. But phenomena presented by the spectra 
of certain of these elements seem almost inexplicable by the commonly 
accepted view. Mr. Lockyer has carefully examined many of the so- 
called elementary spectra, at temperatures varying from that of a gas- 
flame to that of the star Sirius, and, in order to explain the phenomena 
noticed, he has provisionally adopted the hypothesis that the so-called 
elements are really compound bodies. This hypothesis, whether even- 
tually confirmed or refuted, suggests a large field for research to the 
chemist and to the physicist, from which neither can fail to reap most 
valuable results. 

The observed residual phenomena of nature which yet await solution 
are many and varied ; every branch of scientific work presents its own 
list. Let me glance at a few, and they shall be chiefly chosen from 
those phenomena which are investigated by the science of chemistry. 


That the molecules of the elements, i. e., the smallest individual parts 
which exhibit the properties of the elements, consist of yet smaller 
parts, or atoms, is undoubted. The generalization holds, with few ex- 
ceptions, that the elementary molecules contain each two atoms. The 
exceptions are exhibited by the elements phosphorus, arsenic, cadmium, 
and mercury, the two former being possessed of molecular weights four 
times as great as their atomic weights, while the molecular weights of 
the two latter are equal to their atomic weights. No conclusive expla- 
nation has as yet been given of this fact ; it remains a true residual 

Again, the atoms of the elements are possessed each of a certain 
definite binding power. Each is capable of uniting with a fixed maxi- 
mum number of other atoms, but this binding power is not always com- 
pletely exercised. Why does this power vary ? How is its action 
modified by the conditions under which it is exercised ? Can the 
known facts concerning the action of this binding power, or valency as 
it is called, be brought within the scope of any definite and workable 
hypothesis ? These questions are to be solved by the researches of 
the chemists of the future. 

Once more, the properties of certain elements vary considerably 
with variations in the conditions of those elements. Oxygen, when ex- 
posed to the action of the electric discharge, is not split up into any 
form of matter other than itself, nor does it combine with any other 
form of matter, nevertheless its properties are largely modified. The 
molecular weight of ozone the new form of oxygen produced by the 
action of the electric discharge is known to be one and a half time 
greater than that of ordinary oxygen. But, nevertheless, no complete 
explanation of the facts, of which this special fact is a representative, 
has yet been given. Allotropy remains a residual phenomenon in 
chemical science. 

Many animal instincts, e. g., the curious instinct which prompts the 
cuckoo to lay a single egg in a nest not her own, connected as this in- 
stinct undoubtedly is with the similar but less perfectly developed in- 
stinct of the American Molothrus bonariensis, have not as yet been 
completely brought within the sphere of an}' wide generalization. 

Why should the use of its sting inflict injury, if not death, upon the 

Why do variations in structure or function arise suddenly in vari- 
ous animals ? 

'These questions, and many questions similar to these, await their 
full explanation. 

Science advances by slow but sure steps ; she carefully propounds 
hypotheses, and carefully marks off those phenomena which these hy- 
potheses leave unexplained. She is aware that the phenomena occur- 
ring in that immense sphere assigned to her are not always to be 
explained by one, but often by many hypotheses. Phenomenon is 


modified by phenomenon. Law reacts upon law. All she knows is 
lawful, but all is not yet intelligible. With patience and sure faith she 
advances to the goal ; the road is long, but the reward is great. 
Fraser's Magazine. 



aEORGE COMBE has been dead twenty years, and his name is 
almost forgotten. Many of his teachings, which were bitterly op- 
posed when he uttered them, are now quietly accepted. His theories 
of religion, of education, of the treatment of the insane and criminal 
classes, are more or less approved, and even the doctrine that mind is a 
function of the brain, which he, was among the first to assert, and for 
which he was denounced as an infidel, has taken its place among the 
data of science. But the system of phrenology to which he gave him- 
self with such intense devotion is discredited by science, and, like Mr. 
Combe himself, is now seldom heard of. There is much, however, in his 
biography to. interest those who remember him, and who sympathized 
with his career as a reformer. But it is not to the biography at "large 
that we now call attention, but to a fragment of autobiography which 
occupies the opening pages of the book, and embraces the period of 
his childhood and early youth. For, although he was born in another 
country (Scotland), and a former century (1788), yet the essential ex- 
periences of the home, the play-ground, and the school, were the same 
there that they are here, and the same then as now. Combe under- 
stood the conditions of well-being for both mind and body, and the far- 
reaching consequences of conduct. He had made his " bringing up " a 
matter of serious study, and he wrote this sketch, as he spent his life, 
for the good of others. We have found it by far the most interesting- 
portion of a very ably-written biography. But, since we can not print 
the whole of it, we give that portion which treats of his education, with 
such explanations as are needed to make it intelligible. 

For the benefit of our youthful readers, it may be well to state 
that from 1817 to 1836, while still practicing the legal profession, Mr. 
Combe kept up a fierce warfare in defense of phrenology and certain 
principles of right living, which he published in a work entitled "The 
Constitution of Man." This book had an immense circulation, and was 
translated into the leading languages of Europe. In 1837 he retired 
from his profession and gave the rest of his life to the dissemination of 
his principles. He traveled in England, America, and Germany, and 

* The Life of George Combe, author of " The Constitution of Man." By Charles 
Gibbon. In two vols. London: Macmillan & Co., 1878. Price, $8.00. 


lectured on phrenology, education, physiology, the laws of health, and 
the sources of the well-being of nations. He was a leader in the strug- 
gle for what he called secular education that is, a training in such 
knowledge as applies to the duties of life he advocated prison reform, 
and in 1857, the year before his death, he published a work " On Re- 
ligion and Science," the product of much anxious labor and the " out- 
come of his life's thought." 

Dr. Andrew Combe, brother of George Combe, and nine years his 
junior, was also a man of remarkable ability and force of character, and 
both the brothers had feeble constitutions, suffering all their lives from 
ill health. They agreed in the belief that their infirmities were brought 
upon them by the circumstances of their childhood. Andrew died in 
1847, and his " Life " was written by his brother George, who made a 
point of exposing the unhealthful conditions to which his brother had 
been subjected in early life. But some of the relatives were unwilling 
that these family details should be published to the world, and so they 
were omitted from the biography. But, when George Combe after- 
ward wrote a full account of the first sixteen years of his own life, the 
suppressed portion of his brother's biography was embodied in it, and 
this is the autobiography with which we are now concerned. It was 
natural, perhaps, that relatives should object to its publication ; but 
certainly in no other part of the work before us are Combe's tender- 
ness, sense of justice, and ability, better shown than here ; for, while 
he tells everything frankly, he all the while impresses the reader with 
the upright, affectionate, and intelligent character of his parents. 

We condense from Combe's account the following significant details : 
At the time of his birth his father was forty-two and his mother 
thirty years old. She was short, well-formed, quiet, energetic, decided, 
and sensible. She was accomplished in every practical art of house- 
keeping. She could milk, churn, make butter, wash, cook, spin, shape 
and sew clothes for both sexes ; was active and methodic, and generally 
had her work done before dinner, and was ready to pay and receive 
social visits. She could read and could write her name, which was a fair 
literary education in those times. The father was six feet two inches 
in height, strong in trunk and limbs, with a large head, and perfect 
health. He wrote exellent sense and good composition, but was imper- 
fect in grammar and spelling. He was painfully aware of these defects, 
and used to say he would rather hold the plow for a day than write a 
letter of a page in length. His over-consciousness in this matter "led 
him to educate his sons to the best of his ability and his lights." They 
had seventeen children. George was a well-formed, healthy child, and 
so far as character depends upon inheritance he had nothing to com- 
plain of. 

The house where they lived stood close under the southwest bank 
and rock of the Castle of Edinburgh. The locality was low, and, while 
the windows looked upon gardens and corn-fields, the ground behind 


was a filthy swamp in winter, and covered with dunghills in summer ; 
tan-works and magnesia-works poured their refuse into open ditches of 
small declivity all around the place. The public drain from two hum- 
ble localities of Edinburgh ran uncovered past the dwelling, and the 
house itself was connected with his father's brewery. A more un- 
healthy residence could hardly be conceived. The two-story house con- 
tained two rooms, a kitchen and bedroom on the lower, and three rooms 
and a very small bedroom on the upper floor. When Combe was about 
ten years old an additional room and bedroom were built. At about 
this time (1798) the family consisted of the parents, thirteen children, 
and the servants, all crowded into these small rooms. Combe says, 
" The conditions of health and disease were wholly unknown, the mind 
being regarded as independent of the body, and the constant sickness 
and many deaths in the family were never thought of in connection 
with these material surroundings." 

Combe thought that if people only knew better they would do bet- 
ter ; but after a lapse of eighty years, and with our abundant knowl- 
edge of sanitary science, it seems that in the public schools of New 
York to-day the conditions of health and disease are frequently no more 
thought of than they were in Edinburgh when Combe was a child. 

It will be observed that, in telling us about his education, Combe 
all the while distinguishes sharply between his real education and his 
nominal education. His knowledge of mental science, such as it was, 
helped him to interpret his own experiences. The things he remem- 
bers are to him indexes to his natural gifts, as the strongest impres- 
sions would be made on his predominant faculties. By this means he 
discovers the emotional bias that shaped his life, in the incidents of a 
summer spent on his uncle's farm when he was three or four years old. 
His first remembered lesson was given him here by one James Reid, a 
young farmer who came often to visit his aunt and cousins. Combe 
says of him : 

He was a clever, intelligent person, and fond of jokes and fun. He gave 
me a large red field-turnip, hollowed it out, cut a nose, mouth, and eyes in 
one side, put a candle within, and astonished me by the apparition of a human 
face with a dark-purple skin. He taught me to give myself a number of ridicu- 
lous names, such as Timothy, Peter, Baldy, Elshinder, and so forth ; and for the 
sport which this afforded he gave me a halfpenny. The list was closed with 
the name " Scoundrel Grant " (the familiar name of a mean man in Edinburgh) ; 
and I observed that when I wound up by giving myself this appellation there 
was a loud shout of laughter from all the company. This hearty laugh led me 
to suspect something wrong in that name, and I stopped short at it. Mr. Reid 
tempted me with another halfpenny to complete the list, and I reluctantly 
uttered " Scoundrel Grant." The reward was given amid shouts of laughter, and 
for the first time I became conscious of conflicting emotions. I was as much 
ashamed of the name as I was pleased by the money, and when I was at length 
told what " Scoundrel Grant " meant no power on earth could induce me to give 
myself the name. 


Another incident of this summer must be noted. He fell into a 
small rivulet, wet his clothes, and remained out while they dried. He 
caught a severe cold, and was sent home to die of consumption. 

His school education began when he was five or six years old. The 
schoolroom was small, low in ceiling, and crowded with children. In 
the course of the summer his strength gave out. He says : 

From nine to twelve I could see to read; but in the afternoon, from one to 
three, the letters were hazy and I could not distinguish them. I told the teacher 
my condition and was sent home. When I told the family why I left school 
there was great wonderment. My brother John thought I was shamming. He 
put pieces of wheaten bread and oat-cake of similar size and appearance before 
me and asked which was which. I could not tell. He then gave me the aid of 
my father's spectacles, and I at once named the crumbs correctly. He thought 
he had now caught me, for he said, " A young person can not see clearly with an 
old person's spectacles." I protested my truthfulness, and was mortified at being 
suspected of deceit. But my mother came to the rescue, and said she did not 
think I was feigning. She took me from school and put me to sea-bathing. In 
fact, there was nothing anomalous in my seeing with my father's spectacles: he 
was little past middle life, and they were of low power. I was probably as 
much debilitated in brain and eye as an aged man, and the spectacles might suit 
my condition as well as his. But it is difficult for me to describe the grief and 
indignation which the suspicions of the family roused within me. 

He had a pleasant summer by the sea ; the ships sailing up and 
down the Frith of Forth, and the fishing-boats which studded the water 
for miles were objects of vivid wonderment and interest to him. 

His next schooling is thus described : 

Mr. Campbell, who kept a school near by, taught me to read and spell after 
the fashion of those days; i. e., I spelled and pronounced the vowels without 
once dreaming that the words had a meaning. The idea that English words in 
a printed book were signs of feeling did not dawn upon me till years afterward. 
I knew only broad Scotch, and an English book was as unintelligible as a Latin 

As to his religious education at this period he says : 

I went regularly to church, but never understood one word of the sermon. 
This gave rise to a habit of inattention to spoken as well as written language. 
AYhenever I was out of reach of my father's foot and hand I fell asleep, the 
refreshment of which was the only advantage of my church-going. 

When he was six or seven years old he was again sent to the sea- 
side, and left with a family of old people who had no sympathy with, 
children. The months he spent there were full of wretchedness. He 
thus refers to them : 

I slept on a "shake-down " in the garret, and the mice careered over me in 
the night. During the day I wandered in the harbor, but there were no ships 
in it ; climbed the banks above the town, where were only corn-fields ; built 
castles of wet sand and knocked them down again, all alone ; and wearily, 
Avearily did day pass away after day, bringing no change. I was a shy boy, or I 
might have found acquaintances in the street. 


He was taken home in September, but such was the effect of the 
unwholesome position of his father's house, of its overcrowding, and of 
mistakes in his diet, that he had glandular swellings ending in suppura- 
tion. His brain was strong and active, and at school would blaze away 
for a few days until he was completely exhausted, when he would stay 
at home and lie on the sofa three or four days till the nervous energy 
was recruited. (These alternating periods of vivacity and exhaustion 
continued throughout his life.) He thus records an incident of his 
childhood, as an example of the influence which a passing observation 
of a sensible servant may exercise on the mind of an earnest, thoughtful 
child : 

About this time one of my mother's servants from whom I received sincere 
sympathy, observing my feeble condition, said, " O laddie, you should never 
marry." Young as I was, I understood her meaning, and her remark made an 
indelible impression on me. 

The train of thought which, late in life, Combe gave to the world 
in his essay upon " Religion and Science " was started by an incident 
of his early childhood. When six or seven years old he was given a 
lump of candy. The nurse-girl asked him to share it with his brothers 
and sisters, which he did. The girl then assured him that God would 
reward him for it. When he asked her " How ? " she told him God 
would send him everything that was good. Should he get more candy ? 
he inquired. Yes the girl told him, if he was a good boy. Would the 
piece he had left grow bigger ? " Yes," was the reply, " God always re- 
wards the kind-hearted." So the remaining piece was carefully wrapped 
in paper and put in a drawer and left all night. The next morning he 
examined it with eager curiosity, but no change could be discovered in 
it, and he had the bitterness to find that he had been benevolent at 
his own expense. His faith in the reward of virtue received a shock, 
and it was a long time before he learned the true nature of Divine 
rewards for good deeds. 

While still a child, he saw a man and woman walking near the 
verge of the highest part of Salisbury Crags. Soon an alarm was given 
that the man had pushed the woman over the precipice and she was 
killed. The man fled down the northeast slope of the hill and never 
was discovered. Combe says his imagination was haunted by the 
recollection of this scene ; and he was terrified to go to sleep lest he 
should see the murdered woman's ghost. The belief in ghosts was 
universal in his juvenile circle, and a sore superstition it was, for he held 
" every belief to be as true as the most indubitable facts." Another 
striking event of his early boyhood awakened in him a sense of the 
mistakes of Government. Two sons of a poor widow, whom his 
father had helped, poured forth their gratitude in every form of kind- 
ness to his father's children. One of them had been to Greenland in a 
whale-ship and he delighted young George with accounts of the perils 
and excitements of whale-fishing. Paid spies of the press-gang g-ave in- 

VOL. XT. 8 


formation of his liability and his residence, and he was torn from home 
and friends and forced aboard a man-of-war. Combe says : 

It is impossible to describe the horror and indignation with which this 
event filled me. It gave the first rude shock to my feelings of respect toward 
the ruling powers. I had worshiped the King and looked upon the Lord-Pro- 
vost with reverence and awe. But this incident converted me from a loyal, 
trusting, Tory child, into a demagogue and reformer. 

One day as he was walking along the road with one of his father's 
workmen they met a tall man, in Highland costume, with a huge cap 
and plumes, and a fearful-looking iron-hilted sword, who asked the 
workman, " Is this your son ? " " No," said the man. " Is he a good 
boy ? " " Yes, he behaves very well," said the man. " I am glad of it," 
said the soldier, laying his hand on his sword, " for it is my duty to cut 
off the heads of all naughty children." Combe says, " I believed every 
word of this assurance and for months dared not venture into the street 
without keeping an anxious watch for this sergeant who had filled me 
with unutterable horror." 

These incidents may seem trivial, but they formed the staple of his 
practical education. He says that " great drifts of suffering were driven 
through the tenor of my life by the absence of consistent principle in 
the actions and teaching of all by whom I was surrounded." And it 
was the vivid recollection of this unhappiness which determined his 
career as a reformer. 

At the age of nine he entered the High School of Edinburgh, where 
he staid four years. There were about one hundred boys in his class, 
and the learning was mere memorizing. The teacher, Mr. Fraser, every 
afternoon gave out lessons (Latin) to be learned for the next day. In 
the morning he beo-an at the head of the class and heard each scholar 
repeat the portion of grammar he had learned by heart. Next came 
translation. The sons of rich parents had tutors, of evenings, who 
taught them, but Mr. Fraser taught nothing. These boys were at the 
head of the class, and with them the lessons went on smoothly ; but, 
when the incapables were reached, " beating took the place of teaching." 
By standing from twenty-five to forty-five from the head of the class 
young Combe learned his lesson by hearing those above him read it, 
and in this way escaped beating, except when the teacher was dis- 
turbed by a noise ; then, says Combe 

He held us all bonnd for each other's transgressions, and let loose upon us 
a perfect storm of lashes, and never ceased till he was fairly out of breath. 

The discipline waxed severer as time passed on, and in the third year it 
reached its acme. In the spring of that year Mr. Fraser " stripped and whipped," 
to use his own expression, the boys at a great rate. I recollect one day seeing 
fifteen boys standing at a time in the middle of the floor with their breeches 
stripped down, and be taking hold now of one and now of another, threatening to 
commence the " whipping." These inflictions were uniformly accompanied by 
a phraseology in ntter contrast to their real chaacter. When he called on a boy 


to hold out his hand to receive a shower of palmies, it was " Here, if you please, 
my dear." Whack, whack, whack ; scream, scream, scream. " It is all for the 
good of your soul and your body, my dear." In the third year all this discipline 
appeared to him insufficient ; and, after announcing, " I must try a severer rod 
of correction, my dears," he walked to a small closet in the school, opened it amid 
portentous silence, and brought out a short riding-whip, such as game-keepers 
are armed with, and with which in those days they lashed the hounds. It had 
a lash of knotted cord, and a short, thick handle, with an ivory whistle at the 
end ; and with this " rod of correction " he commenced operations. The lash 
twisted around the hand, leaving red scores on the skin, and, where the knots 
struck, in some instances drawing blood. 

All this torture was a substitute for teaching. There was not a map or illus- 
trative object of any kind in the schoolroom ; and only on two occasions during 
the four years did he ever, to my recollection, address a word to us beyond trans- 
lation and grammar of the baldest description. The first of these exceptions 
took place when we read the description of the bridge erected by Julius Caesar 
over the Rhine, given in his " Commentaries." Our teacher had, according to 
tradition, constructed a model of the bridge with his own hands, and was proud 
of it. The fame of its great interest had been transmitted from class to class for 
many years ; and we counted the days which should bring us to " the brig." 
At last the closet was opened in profound silence, and the model brought out. 

It was placed on a chair in the middle of the floor, and we began to read 
the description. As there were many technical terms, he helped us by explain- 
ing them, and with conscious pride pointed out each stake and beam as we pro- 
ceeded, and showed us its connections and uses. The reading and expounding 
lasted for several days, during which all the lessons were better learned than 
usual, complete silence reigned, and not a blow was struck. We thought our- 
selves in paradise. But the model was removed, monotony recommenced, and 
the arm and " the tawse " were again employed to do the work of the teacher's 

The noise and inattention which provoked the teacher and led to much of 
this severity were the natural consequences of our condition. Fully half of the 
seats stood apart from the wall, and had no backs. In summer we sat on them 
from 7 to 9 a. m., from 10 to 12, noon, and from 1 to 3 p. m. ; and in winter, 
from 9 to 11a. m., and 12 to 2 p. m., without any intellectual occupation, ex- 
cept hearing the lessons repeated over and over again as they descended from the 
top to the bottom of the class. There was suffering from an uneasy position 
of the body, and nearly absolute vacuity of mind ; and this at an age when every 
fiber of the brain and muscles was glowing with nervous activity. If physi- 
ology and the laws of mental action had been known in those days, everything 
might have been different. The silence, pleasing excitement, and general good 
behavior which reigned when we had an intelligible object presented to us, 
clearly indicated what was wanted to render us all happy ; but the hint was not 
taken. In point of fact, there was no other rational knowledge adapted to the 
young mind in our teacher's brain: ex nihilo nihil Jit* was exemplified in his 
whole teaching; for the other instance of attention alluded to was due to the 
occurrence of a thunderstorm, which frightened us by its darkness and prox- 
imity. This led him to describe a previous storm of the same kind, which had 
ended by a thunderbolt striking the front of the Royal Infirmary, quite near to 
the High School of those days, and breaking the windows on that side. He gave 

* From nothing, nothing comes. 


us some account of the nature of a thunderstorm, and how after a terrible crash 
the danger is past ; and thus sustained our courage till the clouds cleared away. 
No other items of general information, except these two, dwell in my memory 
as having been communicated during the four years of my attendance. 

In 1798 or 1799 I was sent to Mr. Swanston's school, to learn writing and 
arithmetic. In winter I was in his school, and Mr. Fraser's from eight in the 
morning till 2 p. m., without any interval of repose ; and in summer from 7 a. m. 
till 4 and often till 6 p. m., with only one hour, from 9 to 10 A. m., for breakfast. 
Add to this labor lessons to prepare in the evenings, a constant feeling of inani- 
tion, especially during winter, cold feet and thin clothing, with no object in 
the world in my lessons to interest me, and it may well be conceived how the 
state of sin and misery brought on man by the fall was to me a palpable, unde- 
niable, experienced reality. A few explanations will throw light on the causes 
of these sufferings. Too much cerebral action, and a close, ill-aired bedroom, 
with three besides myself in it, made me in the morning low, listless, irritable, 
and without appetite. My mother had been taught that oatmeal-porridge and 
buttermilk were the best food for children for breakfast. The buttermilk was 
bought in large quantities from dairymen's carts in the street. Frequently it 
was not fresh when bought, and it daily became more acid when kept. To my 
delicate stomach it often tasted like vinegar, and I revolted at the porridge. In 
my mother's eyes this was fastidious delicacy of taste, and she ordered the por- 
ridge to be kept for my dinner. I received a penny to buy a roll for my mid-day 
sustenance. At that time the quartern loaf ranged from a shilling to twenty 
pence in price, and the penny roll was a small morsel for a young, hungry, 
growing boy. On going out, however, I bought the roll at the first shop there 
was one close by my father's gate. I ate it dry, and had no more food till half- 
past two, when I came home to dinner. My mother was not so severe as she 
had threatened to be, for she gave me a dinner that I could eat; but she never 
failed to have the porridge served in the morning. In all this she was actuated 
by a sense of duty alone, for she was ever aiming at our welfare. Ignorance 
was the rock on which her kindest endeavors were wrecked, and she was not to 
be blamed for not knowing what nobody else in her rank, or, so far as I have 
yet discovered, in any other rank of life, then knew. The cold feet and thin 
clothing were the consequence of my own self-willed ignorance. She pressed 
flannel underclothing on me, but because it irritated my excessively sensitive 
skin I rejected it, and pleaded that it was good for me to learn to be hardy in 
my youth, to prepare for the trials and exposures of manhood : this was listened 
to, and the flannel was not forced on me. In the school, and in the "West 
Ohnrch especially, in which in those days there were no stoves, I often sat 
chilled like an icicle, and my only surprise is how I survived so much irrational 
treatment and stupid conduct. 

My constitution, which must have been originally strong, suffered permanent 
deterioration from all these injurious influences. The bones were imperfectly 
developed; and bent clavicles and a slight distortion of the spine, with chronic 
irritability of the mucous membrane of the lungs, were the consequences. The 
benches of the High School had no backs, but some of them stood close to the 
walls. I suffered greatly from inability to sit upright, during the long hours of 
confinement, on the seats away from the wall ; and have no doubt that then and 
there the distortion of the spine was produced. I often abstained from getting 
up to the third " form " because the fourth stood next the wall and supported 
my back ! 


But his out-of-school education all this time went on apace. The 
narrative continues : 

I always had an active life and pursuits out of school, when any leisure was 
left me. We had ample play-ground near my father's brewery. My brother 
Abram was only a few years older than I. He was very clever at all boyish 
games, tricks, and small mischiefs ; full of fun ; a builder of rabbit-houses, and 
keeper of rabbits ; passionately addicted to brass cannons and pistols, and the 
use of gunpowder in all its forms ; and I followed him, a willing pupil. There 
were a number of boys, sons of workingmen, living in the neighborhood, who 
formed our companions in play ; but no boys of the genteeler classes were with- 
in our reach, the brewery lying close to Westport and Grassmarket, and far 
from the new town. I too built a rabbit-house, and bought a pair of rabbits, 
which soon had a numerous progeny. The procuring food for them and clean- 
ing their house were occupations, and the warm attachment I felt toward them 
was a source of great gratification. On two occasions, however, I grossly mis- 
managed them one culpably, the other through kindness ill-directed, but both 
leading to results from which I subsequently drew instruction. The first fault 
was neglecting to clean their habitation. Under the pressure of other duties I 
neglected this one, and merely covered over the old litter with fresh straw. In 
the course of time the female killed her young, and the buck was savage. This 
infanticide occurred again and again, and, true to the spirit of the age, I held up 
the slaughtered young before the mother's eyes and beat her well, but did not 
clean her bed. At last, when I resumed the discharge of my own duty, her ab- 
erration ceased ; but at that time I saw no connection between my own miscon- 
duct and hers. Many years later the study of physiology revealed to me my 
sin, and carried instruction with it. The organism of the animal was injured 
and rendered miserable by the dirt, and nervous irritability, akin to insanity, 
was the result. This example I subsequently applied to the case of the human 
poor, and saw in the deleterious physical condition in which many of them ha- 
bitually live the cause of some of their sufferings and crimes. 

In the other instance, my compassion was moved by the supposed sufferings 
of my pets from intensely cold weather ; and I obtained leave from my father to 
transfer them from the house I had built for them, with the earth for their floor, 
to a loft having a deal floor and thoroughly inclosed and roofed. It had only a 
glimmer of light through panes of thick glass inserted here and there among the 
tiles. To my great distress the rabbits grew sick, lost their hair ; their eyes be- 
came impaired ; they lost their appetite, and the buck became so miserable that 
I took him out to the garden, tied him to a stake, and tried my skill in marking 
by standing at a distance of fifteen or twenty paces and shooting him with my 
pistol loaded with a single ball. The ball broke his spine, and he uttered a 
piercing scream. The cry struck so deep into my moral nature that it over- 
whelmed me with pain, shame, and remorse at the time, and has never lost its 
character in my memory since. 

Long afterward I discovered that these sufferings of my beloved rabbits 
were the consequences of my having, through mistaken kindness, placed them 
in circumstances at variance with their nature. The ground was their native 
floor; their fur protected them from the cold; and abundance of air and light, 
which they enjoyed in their habitation which I had made for them, were indis- 
pensable to their well-being : and these were all wanting in the lofts. The in- 
struction I drew from these occurrences was that, without knowledge of the 
structure and functions of a living organism, and its relations to the natural ob- 


jects to which it is adapted and which influence its conditions, the best inten- 
tions may inflict only suffering when pleasure is meant to be given ; and that 
this holds as true in the case of human beings as in that of rabbits. 

His father took a high Tory newspaper, and its chronicles were both 
intelligible and interesting. It was full of wars and rumors of wars, 
hangings, floggings, burnings, and slayings, and these were illustrated 
from time to time by doings in the town. He saw panoramas of bat- 
tles, celebrations of victories, public floggings and hangings, and heard 
the running accompaniment of discussion among the workmen in his 
father's brewery. But the war was the great educator. He and his 
brothers had cannons of all sizes and sorts, and, as they grew up, pistols. 
Cartridges were given them, and they spent their spare pence for pow- 
der, lead, a bullet-mould, and a ladle. He says : 

We kept the neighborhood in disquiet with the noise of explosions, and when 
it was found that we used balls there was fear that we should injure ourselves. 
And there was risk. I was firing at a mark on the inner side of the door of my 
father's garden, having locked it to prevent accident. The door was so thick 
that bullets lodged in it ; but on one occasion I struck a knot which the ball 
drove out and made a large hole. No harm came, as no one was passing, but I 
quietly bought a piece of putty to fill up the hole and some brown paint to paint 
it over, and the evil deed was never discovered. I got a foot of the butt end of 
a common musket, mounted it on a stock and wheels, put it on an ale-cask, 
pointed it at a mark eighteen inches square supported on a stalk, and fired till I 
knocked it to shreds ; but my crowning glory was the actual firing with my 
own hand of one of the great guns of the half-moon battery of Edinburgh Castle. 
I made friends with a bombardier who put the port-fire into my hand and gave 
the word " fire," and the welkin roared with the report of the gun. I was then 
not more than twelve years old, and to me there was grandeur in the exploit. 

Then, again, in the neighborhood of the brewery were tan-works, 
currying-shops, an iron-foundry, a pump-maker's yard and a blacksmith's 
shop which he frequented, observing what was done in them and mas- 
tering the theory of their operations. He understood the business of 
the brewery, and all sorts of incidents constantly occurring afforded 
practical illustrations of the principles he had learned. In this way he 
added to his general intelligence and kept active his understanding, 
which was sent to sleep at school. 

He had an intense love of nature, and of whatever displayed power 
and contrivance. He says of a dam-head where the water fell twenty 
feet : 

I have stood in a pouring rain, thrilled with delightful emotion, gazing on the 
thundering cataract, for such it seemed to me. At a later period the falls of 
Niagara did not excite a stronger feeling of the sublime than did this waterfall 
of my childhood. 

His four years of suffering under Mr. Fraser came to an end in 1801, 
and, when he left the class-room for the last time, he says : 

I ran down the stair three steps at a time, in an ecstasy of pleasure; and on 


leaving the yards turned round opposite the building and wished to God that I 
had the command of a battery of twenty-four pounders for a day to blow the 
school to atoms. For years after I left the school, when I saw my teacher 
coming in the street, I took the opposite pavement. 

So much for the education that had been ordered and paid for. 
His estimate of his schooling for the next two years is equally interest- 
ing. From the High School he went to the University of Edinburgh. 
With his first teacher he studied geography and mathematics, but, as 
his capacity for learning words was slender, he forgot yesterday's les- 
son in learning to day's, while in mathematics the demonstrations he 
repeated evaporated as fast as they were learned. But for several 
months his sole fellow student in geography was a young sailor from 
the middle ranks, who was very profligate, though bold and generous, 
and he related to Combe the histories of his corrupt experiences. Hap- 
pily, however, they had no allurements for the lad, and increased his 
knowledge without subverting his morals. Of his experiences in Dr. 
Hill's Latin class, he says : 

I could not master the lessons, and had no assistance at home. As we were 
now young gentlemen, there was no corporal punisbment, no place-taking, no 
keeping-in. Those able and willing to learn were taugbt, the rest were left un- 
molested, if they kept quiet and let business go on. The boys in my condition 
took back seats, and let the clever boys sit in the front ones next the Professor. 

He and they went on harmoniously and successfully ; Combe lis- 
tened, and learned what he could. But he savs : 

I must record one great benefit I derived from the lax discipline of all my 
teachers in the years 1802-3. In those years my brain got nearly a complete 
rest; and as I was growing rapidly this was an advantage which in its ultimate 
consequences counterbalanced my losses by habitual indolence. I bad a con- 
science, and in all my previous attendance at scbool it urged me to do my best, 
and punished me with painful upbraidings when I sacrificed duty to pleasure, 
which was not often ; and thus my nervous system had been kept on tbe stretch,. 
my brain had been overtasked and my health and growth impaired. But in 
these two years my brain got a rest, for my conscience was to some degree 
involved in my general apathy. 

We have no room for details of his Sunday training. Like all the 
rest of his so-called education it was unintelligible, burdensome, dis- 
couraging. He envied the cattle that had no souls, and he envied his 
brother Abram, whose light disposition enabled him to throw Calvinism 
to the winds, and make witty sarcasms and jokes out of the materials it 
afforded. In 1802 he lost a brother, ten months old, of small-pox, and 
in 1807 a sister just younger than himself, who had been ill for many 
years. These events excited and bewildered him, but the example of 
his parents taught him not to complain of sufferings " sent by the hand 
of God." 

He says that about the year 1802-'3 he first became conscious of 


the desire for fame, and used to shed tears of sorrow at the thought that 
this wish could never be gratified, as he had no special talent for any 
pursuit and his social position was also against him. He attributes this 
feeling partly to his natural temperament, and partly to his Latin studies, 
such as they were. During these years he taught his younger brothers 
and sisters for one hour each evening, except Saturdays and Sundays, 
for which his father paid him a small fee quarterly. As he had himself 
been taught almost nothing, he had a poor idea of his performances as 
a teacher, although his parents and pupils were satisfied with his efforts. 
At the age of sixteen he had to face the question of a calling. He 
was feeble, delicate, shabby in appearance, with no conscious bias, but 
only the wish to live by honest industry. He was offered as an appren- 
tice to a dealer in woolen cloth, flannel, and small wares, but the pro- 
prietor, he says, " took me to the door to obtain light to view me better, 
and turned me round and round : he then politely told my father that 
I would not suit." On the way to the shop of another cloth-merchant 
they met one of his uncles, who was told where they were going, and 
what had happened at the former application. This uncle now sug- 
gested to the father that they try the law, " For," said he, " you have 
given George ft good education : we have a numerous connection in 
town, and there is no writer among us." The father was afraid the}' 
could not succeed with this idea, but it ended in his going as an appren- 
tice for five years to a " writer to the Signet," one Alexander Dallas. 
He had to bring a certificate from Professor Hill, of his attendance at the 
college for two years. He was terribly alarmed lest Professor Hill 
should decline to do this because of the utter neglect of his studies dur- 
ing those two years, but was astonished at the close of the session to get 
the following document : 

Edinburgh, April 18, 1S04. 

That the bearer, Mr. George Combe, attended the Humanity class in the 
University of Edinburgh two years, and prosecuted his studies with great dili- 
gence and success, is attested by 

(Signed) Jo. Hill, Lit. Hum. P. 

Although this certificate gained him the place, the autobiography 
closes by explaining how completely his schooling had unfitted him for 
it. His first experiences in the study of law were extremely painful 
and mortifying. Some degree of independent judgment in the use of 
words was now required, and of this he was wholly destitute. He had 
to begin anew his literary education, but by unwearied industry and 
perseverance he at length aroused his dormant faculties and learned 
how to use them. Combe thought his helplessness was due to the 
fact that at school he was taught nothing ; but children nowadays 
are rendered equally helpless by over-teaching. They get abundant 
instruction and but little education. Our youths leave school as inca- 
pable of independent thinking as was Combe himself. With all our 
boasted progress empty-headed teachers still abound, and the failure of 



children in repulsive tasks is still punished, less grossly than but often 
quite as cruelly as ever. In Combe's time " children," he says, " were or- 
dered to learn, and scolded and punished if they did not get their les- 
sons." Does not this pretty fairly describe the present state of things ? 
Most parents still think, with the elder Combe, that to educate is to 
send to school, and the experience of George Combe should do some- 
thing toward dispelling this prevalent error. 



WILLIAM DWIGHT WHITNEY was born at Northampton, 
Massachusetts, February 9, 1827. He received an academic 
education at Williams College, in the same State, graduating in 1845. 
On leaving college he became clerk in a banking-house, and continued 
in this employment for about five years, devoting his hours of leisure to 
the study of languages, but particularly of Sanskrit, the ancient lan- 
guage of India. In 1850 he visited Germany for the sake of enjoying 
the exceptional advantages afforded by the universities there for the 
pursuit of linguistic studies. For three years he attended in the Uni- 
versities of Berlin and Tubingen the lectures of the foremost philologers 
and Sanskritists of the time, namely, Professors Bopp and Weber, of 
Berlin, and Roth, of Tubingen. In conjunction with Professor Roth, 
he prepared an edition of the text of the " Atharva Veda Sanhita," 
which was published in 1856 at Berlin. Whitney transcribed the text 
from the MS. in the Royal Librarj 7 at Berlin, and collated it with the 
MSS. of the Libraries of Paris, London, and Oxford. In a second vol- 
ume, which is in course of preparation, the editors will publish a trans- 
lation of the work, with commentary, notes, and index. Since 1849, 
when he became a member of the American Oriental Society, he has 
distinguished himself among all his associates in that learned body by 
the number and the value of his contributions to its " Transactions," 
and his untiring efforts to promote the objects for which it was founded. 
He was Librarian of the society from 1855 to 1873, and has been its Cor- 
responding Secretary since 1857. Of volumes v. to ix. of its " Jour- 
nal," more than one half was contributed by him. He was in 1854 
appointed Professor of Sanskrit, and in 1870 Professor of Comparative 
Philology, at Yale College, which chair he still occupies. In 1858 he 
edited, with notes, the republication of Colebrooke's "Miscellaneous 
Essays," which have principally to do with subjects connected with 
Sanskrit scholarship. 

Besides contributing voluminously to the "Journal" of the Ameri- 
can Oriental Society, he is the author of several critiques and essays 
published in sundry journals, American, English, and German. Among 


the more important papers either written or edited by him, and pub- 
lished in the "Journal," may be named Rev. Ebenezer Burgess's trans- 
lation of the " Surya-Siddhanta " (a Hindoo treatise on astronomy) 1860, 
with notes and an appendix; text, with notes, of the " Atharva-Veda 
Praticakhya" (1862) ; the text of the " Taittiriya Praticakhya" (1871), 
with English version, notes, and native commentary, the last two being 
grammatical treatises the edition of the " Taittiriya " won for Pro- 
fessor Whitney from the Berlin Academy the Bopp prize reviews of 
Lipsius's phonetic alphabet and of the opinions of Biot, Weber, and 
Miiller on the lunar zodiac of India, Arabia, and China. He was a con- 
tributor to the great Sanskrit Dictionary of Bohtlingk and Roth (St. 
Petersburg, 1853-'67, seven volumes). In 1869 he aided in founding 
the American Philological Association, and was its first President. His 
work, "Language and the Study of Language" (2 vols., 1867, repub- 
lished in 1874), was made up of a series of lectures, delivered first at 
the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, and repeated at the Lowell 
Institute, Boston ; it was translated into German, and edited, with addi- 
tions, by J. Jolly, under the title of "Die Sprachwissenschaft " (Munich, 
1874). His principal contributions to the "Journal of the American 
Oriental Society," "The North American Review," "The New-England- 
er," and other periodicals, were collected and published in two volumes, 
entitled "Oriental and Linguistic Studies" (1873-'74). To the "Inter- 
national Scientific Series" he contributed a volume in 1875, entitled 
"The Life and Growth of Language," which was very favorably re- 
ceived both at home and abroad, having been translated into French, 
German, and Italian. He has prepared several school manuals for the 
use of students of the German language, viz., a grammar, a reader, a 
dictionary, and texts of certain of the German classics. In 1877 ap- 
peared his work, " Essentials of English Grammar." He has now in 
press, in Leipsic, a Sanskrit Grammar, in English and German editions. 
We append a list of papers published at various dates by Professor 
Whitney, but not contained in either of the two collections named 
above : " Material and Form in Language " (1872) ; " (pvoei or deoet " 
" Natural or Conventional " (1874) ; " A Botanico-Philological Problem " 
(1876). The foregoing were published in the "Journal of the Ameri- 
can Philological Association." Peile's " Greek and Latin Etymology " 
(1873-'74 ; " Transactions of the London Philological Society ") ; " On 
the History of the Vedic Texts " (1854 ; " Journal of the American 
Oriental Society " ) ; " Contributions from the Atharva-Veda " (1856 ; 
in the same journal) ; on Lipsius's " Standard Alphabet " (1862 ; the 
same ) ; " On the Jyotisha Observation of the Place of the Colures and 
the Date derivable from it" (1864; "Journal of the Royal Astronomi- 
cal Society," London) ; " Are Languages Institutions ?" (1875 ; "Con- 
temporary Review") ; " Miiller's Rig-Veda and Commentary" (1876; 
" New-Englander ") ; " The value of Linguistic Science to Ethnology " 
(1867 ; in the same). 





To the Editors of the Popular Science Monthly. 

AN interesting article entitled " The 
Fear of Death " appeared in " The 
Popular Science Monthly Supplement " for 
December. The author in one place says : 
"At any rate the feelings with which we 
contemplate the termination of our own 
earthly life must vary indefinitely in different 
individuals, and in the same individual at 
different times ; and it would be a matter of 
deep interest to compare our respective ex- 
perience if we could bring ourselves to do 
so." Having been myself quite recently 
very near to the entrance of the " valley," 
and having been for a long time in the daily 
habit of mentally viewing the question of 
the extinction of life, it has occurred to me 
that, where the subject is one in which we 
all have an interest more or less, even my 
small experience may be in some degree use- 
ful and suggestive. 

When quite young, too young in fact to 
have any definite idea of what death means, 
I had an extreme dread of the very thought. 
At the age of six years I stood for the first 
time in the presence of death, having been 
brought into the room to see the body of a 
deceased lady who had been very kind to 
me. I was awe-stricken. I could not im- 
agine what had occurred. I was told in a 
subdued voice that she was dead. I did not 
understand it ; I only saw that some terrible 
and to me inexplicable change had taken 
place in my friend, and for a long time after- 
ward the mention of death filled me with 
childish horror. The thought that I too 
should one day be like that was unbearable. 

In early manhood I had a reluctance to 
think on the subject of death at all, and 
whenever the repulsive idea presented itself 
I dismissed it as quickly as possible. 

On one occasion, when about twenty-one 
years old, I accompanied, merely as a spec- 
tator, a military expedition against the Tap- 
ping rebels in China. During the space of 
an hour or so I found myself under fire, and, 
being a novice in the business of war, I felt 
decidedly uncomfortable. If freedom from 
apprehension of personal danger constitutes 
bravery upon such occasions, then I was not 
by any means brave. But during the whole 
time I was not conscious of any anxiety as 
to death or what may follow it ; my chief 
thought was : " If I am hit, what will be the 
sensation ? will it be very painful ? " The 
paramount solicitude was for my body, and 
if my general anxiety included any other 
elements than the fear of pain, certainly that 

was the predominating one. Being only a 
looker-on, and having no active duties to 
occupy my mind, I remember distinctly my 
feelings upon that occasion. 

Again, later on in life, I was caught in a 
heavy blow one night on our Southern coast. 
The vessel, a small schooner, was in ballast, 
and we were drifting rapidly to leeward to- 
ward the shoals which line the part of the 
coast where we were ; we missed them by 
the merest chance. 

All through that night the thought of 
death was present in my mind, my anxiety 
increasing with every cast of the lead, which 
showed the constantly lessening depth of 
water. Yet here, again, the fear of the man- 
ner of death was stronger than the fear of 
death itself. Of course, there were feelings 
of sadness connected with the thought of 
being cut suddenly off from relatives and 
friends, but still the chief apprehension was 
concerning the hopeless and seemingly in- 
evitable struggle in the breakers before 
death should supervene. 

As I approached middle age, the subject 
of death and what may possibly succeed it 
began to form more and more a part of my 
studies and to occupy more constantly my 
thoughts. The difficulties in the way of an 
unquestioning belief in a future state of ex- 
istence beyond the grave increased the more 
the subject was studied, but the fear of death 
was if anything lessened. I was told that 
sickness and the approach of death would 
alter my views in that respect, and at last I 
began myself to have a curiosity to learn 
whether such a result would really follow 
upon the loss of health. 

Not long ago I had a very severe illness, 
from which I have not yet quite recovered, 
and perhaps never shall. For a time my 
chances of life were very small, and I real- 
ized my condition perfectly ; yet, the nearer 
Death approached, the less grim and repul- 
sive he appeared. The principal feeling 
was one of resignation, or perhaps some 
would prefer to call it apathy. There was, 
however, always present with the idea of 
death a certain curiosity as to how the 
change would be effected, and what it would 
be followed by whether by annihilation of 
all sensation, or by an extension of conscious- 
ness of identity with a higher development 
of faculties and perceptions. While the lat- 
ter conception was the more pleasing, truth 
compels me to say that the former appeared 
to be the more probable. 

The difficulty of making a mental pre- 
sentment of a state of conscious identity 



apart from the body and brain seemed insu- 
perable, and to believe sincerely and with- 
out a doubt that which is inconceivable is, 
at least in my own case, impossible. 

Doubts regarding the question of im- 
mortality gave me no concern as to conse- 
quences. Those doubts are honest, and I 
can not prevent them. I was and am con- 
vinced that if what I was taught in my 
youth concerning God and a future life be 
true, an All-wise and All-just Supreme Being 
can not condemn me for believing according 
to the best light of the intellect which he 
himself gave me ; while, if the doctrine of 
immortality be false, then of course death 
ends all. In either case there is no cause 
for uneasiness. Since my partial return to 
health, the wish to live has strengthened ; in 
fact, now that I am able to attend to my 
daily business, the state of my health gives 
me more concern than it did at a time when 
I was too weak to walk across the floor. On 
the whole, I think that the fear of, or rather 
the repugnance to death, varies directly with 
the vicissitudes of health strongly devel- 
oped in robust health, decreasing gradually 
as death draws nearer. It is well that it is 
so. J. J. F. 

New York, December 22, 1ST8. 


To the Editors of the Popular Science Monthly. 

I had the good fortune during the past 
summer to witness a remarkable display of 

reason, or something quite akin to reason, in 
an earthworm. I was watching a number of 
them in my garden after a shower, as they 
swallowed bits of dry grass and leaves, when 
I observed one of very large size take hold 
of a stick about six inches long. He took 
hold as he reached it, by the middle, and drew 
it toward his hole. But as the dirt was heaped 
up near the hole, the stick soon became bed- 
ded about an inch, and then resisted the per- 
sistent efforts of the worm to draw it farther. 
He then deliberately let go of the middle 
and felt along to the end of the stick, which 
he seized and drew easily to his retreat. I 
watched until it had partially disappeared 
in the hole, but was unable to determine the 
special value of the prize. It is likely that 
he desired to feed on the decayed bark of 
the stick, as I have observed that these 
worms almost invariably eat dried food in- 
stead of green. 

By the way, have you ever had your at- 
tention drawn to the circulation of the Cala- 
dium esculentum? You will observe at the 
tip of a thrifty-growing leaf, on the upper 
side, a small hole, in which you can insert 
the point of a pin. Now water the plant 
abundantly, and shortly you will observe a 
small globule of water leap out of this hole. 
Nine of these combine to make a drop, which 
falls off and is replaced by another. In a 
short time quite a pool of water will be 
found under the plant. 

E. P. Powell. 

Ciinton, New Yoke, January 20, 1S79. 



IT is announced that Herbert Spencer 
has ceased writing upon his " Soci- 
ology," and begun the " Principles of 
Morality," the last of his series; and it 
is inferred from this that, having found 
his " Synthetic Philosophy " overgrown 
and unmanageable, he has abandoned 
a part of it in order to finish the rest. 
This is an entire misapprehension. He 
has never had his great work so com- 
pletely in command as now. His sus- 
pension of labor upon the sociological 
division is but temporary, and he anti- 
cipates a part of the final ethical discus- 
sion for reasons quite other than those 
assigned. The step has been taken in 
consequence of Mr. Spencer's uncertain 
health, and from an apprehension that 

he might break down before reaching 
its concluding part. Regarding " The 
Principles of Morality " as the most 
important portion of his undertaking, 
to which all the preceding works are 
preliminary, he felt it to be of great 
importance to prepare such a state- 
ment of his ethical views as will show 
the bearing of the previous parts of 
his system upon that subject. He ac- 
cordingly some months ago stopped 
work upon the second volume of the 
"Sociology," and began "The Data of 
Ethics," the first portion or ground- 
work of " The Principles of Morality." 
This is now so nearly finished that it 
may be expected to appear in a small 
volume of two hundred and fifty pages 
in the course of the spring, when Mr. 



Spencer will resume the course of his 
labors upon " The Principles of Soci- 

The appearance of a new book upon 
morals is now so common a thing as in 
itself to be hardly noteworthy. But the 
publication of such a work, at the pres- 
ent time, by the most eminent exposi- 
tor of the doctrine of evolution, and 
the* only man who has dealt with that 
doctrine as the basis of a comprehen- 
sive philosophy which is broadly found- 
ed upon the results of modern science, 
and treated throughout with reference 
to the ultimate establishment of the 
principles of right and wrong in human 
conduct such a book will be certain to 
attract wide attention. 

Morality, as is well known, is a sub- 
ject that has been hitherto kept in very 
close connection with theological be- 
liefs. It has been generally taught by 
the dogmatic method, and as based 
upon supernatural sanctions,, so that 
the theologians have come to be re- 
garded as its legitimate custodians. Not 
only is the inculcation of morality a con- 
ceded prerogative of the pulpit, but the 
regular teaching of it, in nearly all our 
higher education, is also in the hands of 
the divines. In an interesting and in- 
structive paper published in "Mind,"* 
by Mr. G. Stanley Hall, on " Philosophy 
in the United States," the writer re- 
marks of the three hundred non-Catho- 
lic colleges in the country as follows : 
u In nearly all these institutions certain 
studies, aesthetic, logical, historical, most 
commonly ethical, most rarely psycho- 
logical, are roughly classed as philoso- 
phy, and taught during the last year 
almost invariably by the president." 
To this it may be added that the pres- 
ident is almost invariably a doctor of 
divinity. These theological expound- 
ers of studies "most commonly ethical " 
ever insist upon the vital interdepen- 
dence of theology and morals. It is 
taught that they are bound up together 

* Reprinted in " The Popular Science Month- 
ly Supplement," New Series, No. 1. 

indissolubly and are subject to a com- 
mon fate, and this is the way the sub- 
ject is regarded by the great mass of 
people in the community. 

But we are now called upon to take 
into account a most important fact. 
There is an undeniable and widely 
spread decay of theological dogmas af- 
fecting all classes of society. The old 
adherence to traditional beliefs is weak- 
ening, and men are falling away from 
their creeds. The ancient sphere of 
belief and faith is invaded by science, 
and is being inexorably circumscribed. 
This is notorious, and is acknowledged 
by eminent religious authorities. 

In a paper of remarkable candor 
and significance, by the Bev. Phillips 
Brooks, of Boston, in the March num- 
ber of the " Princeton Review " on 
" The Pulpit and Modern Skepticism," 
the writer admits that the phenome- 
na of doubt " are thick around us in 
our congregations, and thicker still out- 
side our congregations, in the world." 
This skepticism he recognizes as "a 
very pervading thing. It evidently 
can not be shut up in any guarded 
class or classes. Life plays upon faith 
every where. Ideas change and devel- 
op in all sorts and conditions of men ; 
and the occupants of pulpits have their 
doubts and disbeliefs as well as oth- 
ers." Again, "a large acquaintance 
with clerical life has led me to think 
that almost any company of clergymen, 
gathering together and talking freely 
to each other, will express opinions 
which would greatly surprise and at 
the same time greatly relieve the con- 
gregations who ordinarily listen to these 

And again : " How many men in the 
ministry to-day believe in the doctrine 
of verbal inspiration which our fathers 
held, and how many of us have frankly 
told the people that we do not believe 
it, and so lifted off" their Bible's page 
the heavy cloud of difficulties and in- 
consistencies which that doctrine laid 
there ? How many of us hold that the 
everlasting punishment of the wicked 

1 26 


is a clear and certain truth of revela- 
tion? But how many of us who do 
not hold that have ever said a word to 
tell men that we thought they might 
be Christians, and yet keep a hope for 
the souls of all God's children ? " 

Dr. Brooks remarks still further: 
" There must be no lines of orthodoxy 
inside the lines of truth. Men find that 
you are playing with them and will not 
believe you even when you come in ear- 
nest. I know what may be said in an- 
swer. I know the old talk about hold- 
ing the outworks as long as we can, and 
then retreating to the citadel, and per- 
haps there has hardly been a more mis- 
chievous metaphor than this. It is the 
mere illusion of a metaphor. The min- 
ister who tries to make people believe 
that which he questions, in order to 
keep them from questioning that which 
he believes, knows very little about the 
certain workings of the human heart, 
and has no real faith in truth itself. I 
think that a great many teachers and 
parents now are just in this condition. 
They remember that they started with 
a great deal more belief than they have 
now. They have lost much, and still 
have much to live by. They think that 
their children, too, must start believing 
so much that they can afford to lose a 
great deal and still have something left, 
and so they teach these children what 
they have themselves long ceased to 
believe. It is a most dangerous experi- 

We have quoted these frank and 
impressive passages because they will 
have weight as coming from a distin- 
guished religious teacher. They reveal 
no secret, and state nothing that ob- 
serving persons did not know before ; 
but they bring out clearly the degree 
to which religious dogmas are already 
discredited and secretly abandoned, and 
they painfully illustrate the insincerity 
and duplicity that have resulted. 

But what we have here to note is 
simply the acknowledgment of the ex- 
tent to which theology is losing its hold 
upon the general mind, and untenable 

articles of religious faith are being aban- 
doned. It is this crumbling theological 
system that has been hitherto offered 
us as the foundation of morals. Ee- 
ligion and morality, as we have said, 
are held to be bound up in a common 
fate, and to the great majority of peo- 
ple religion means orthodox theology. 
These will therefore naturally think 
that, when their articles of faith are dis- 
credited, morality must be discredited 
also. We are thus forced by the criti- 
cal exigencies of thought to meet the 
question, Is morality to fall with the 
decaying authority of supernaturalism, 
or does it really rest upon another and 
more immutable foundation ? In fact, 
the broad issue is, Does morality belong 
to the domain of theology or to the do- 
main of science, and is it to be treated 
by theological methods or by the meth- 
ods of science ? Answers to these ques- 
tions are now imperatively demanded. 
It may be objected that this is an 
empty requirement, as we already have a 
distinctly recognized ethical science cul- 
tivated by rational methods the utilita- 
rian system, based upon experience, and 
rejecting all theological implications. It 
is true that there is a strong tendency 
of thought in this direction, but it is 
neither the prevailing mode of viewing 
the subject, nor does it make any claim 
to be based upon the results of modern 
science. Mr. Sidgwick's recent book, 
"Methods in Ethics," in which he un- 
dertakes to examine and criticise the 
grounds of ethical systems, does not deal 
with the relations of modern science to 
the subject, and in this respect it was 
disappointing to many. Those familiar 
with the drifts of recent inquiry per- 
ceive that the course it has taken and 
the results it has attained must pro- 
foundly affect the philosophy of morals, 
if indeed they do not give us a "New 
Ethics"; but Mr. Sidgwick seems but 
little more conscious of any such move- 
ment than were Bentham and Mill. He 
is not of course to be blamed, as he 
deals with past systems, but his work 
. is proof that no close relation between 



general science and ethics has hitherto 
been systematically traced out. 

The most far-reaching and radical 
revolution in thought of which we 
have yet had experience consists in the 
extensive acceptance of the doctrine of 
evolution. That this doctrine has fun- 
damental relations with morality is un- 
deniable. Those theological teachers 
who hold that religion and morality 
are so unified that they must stand or 
fall together are fond of insisting that 
evolution is fatal to both. This is very 
much like a desperate abandonment of 
both to destruction, for the theory is 
making headway at a rate unprece- 
dented in the historical growth of opin- 
ion. It has been developed by studious 
scientific men, and promulgated like 
any other scientific conclusion to which 
they have been led by the established 
processes of investigation and the estab- 
lished rules of logic. All our science 
is pervaded by it, and there is no hope 
that it can be arrested. It is therefore 
important to know what it is going to 
carry away, what it is going to leave, 
and what it is going to give. Will it 
subvert morality, or will it lead to a 
higher morality? 

The answer to this question we can 
not regard as doubtful. If evolution be 
true, and man's ethical nature is no ex- 
ception to the general constitution of 
things, then evolution is the agency that 
has developed morality in the past and 
brought it to its present condition. As- 
suming that the principles of right and 
wrong and the laws which regulate hu- 
man conduct are rooted in the natural 
order, the sciences of nature which ex- 
plain that order must have close bear- 
ings upon the philosophy of human 
conduct, while the profoundest inter- 
pretation of the method of the universe 
that has yet been attained, and which 
throws a flood of new light upon the 
nature of man and the development of 
humanity, must certainly aid us in the 
study of human activities in their high- 
est aspects. 

At any rate, we desire to have a re- 

port upon the present state of knowl- 
edge on this important subject, and we 
waut it from a man authorized to speak. 
Mr. Spencer's book on " The Data of 
Ethics" may be expected to give us the 
scientific groundwork of the subject in 
connection with the principle of evolu- 
tion, and it can not fail to prove help- 
ful to many minds, both by the instruc- 
tion it will afford and by the solicitude 
it will dispel in the present state of 
transitional opinion. 


We print this month the last of a 
short series of very interesting articles 
on astronomical subjects by Professor 
Daniel Vaughan, of Cincinnati. Before 
we had received from him the corrected 
proofs of the last article, news came 
that he was dead. We were of course 
startled by this intelligence, as his death 
is a profound loss to American science, 
and we knew that he was by no means 
a very old man, and were not aware of 
his failing health. But there now come 
to us certain painful disclosures regard- 
ing his life, of which it is desirable to 
take notice. 

Daniel Vaughan was born in Ire- 
land, of wealthy parents, about the year 
1821. He had a good education from a 
tutor, and at the village school, and was 
noted for mathematical ability. He came 
to this country at the age of sixteen, and 
went directly West, becoming the teach- 
er in a country school in Bourbon 
County, Kentucky. Here he studied in 
seclusion, and made great proficiency 
in the higher branches of scientific 
study ; but, famishing for books and 
intelligent associations, he went to Cin- 
cinnati twenty-five years ago, mainly 
attracted by its library privileges. He 
now pursued a wide course of scientific 
inquiry with great vigor and enthusiasm, 
devoting himself mainly to astronomy 
and to the larger aspects of natural phe- 
nomena, which he treated with the free- 
dom and independence of a strong orig- 



inal thinker. He was master of the | 
German, French, Italian, and Spanish 
languages, and also of ancient and mod- 
ern Greek. He wrote one or two vol- 
umes upon mathematics and astronomy, 
and contributed numerous papers to the 
proceedings of learned societies, and 
to scientific periodicals at home and 
abroad. An example of the wide range 
of his studies and publications is afford- 
ed by the following list of papers and 
articles which appeared at different 
times and in different publications : 

"The Doctrine of Gravitation," "The 
Cause and Effects of the Tides," " The Eings 
of Saturn," " The Light and Heat of the 
Sun," " The Origin and the End of the 
World," " The Advent and Appearance of 
New Stars," " The Asteroids," " The Nebu- 
lar Hypothesis," " The Secondary Planets," 
" The Plurality of Worlds," " Stellar As- 
tronomy," "Meteoric Astronomy," "The 
Kemote Planets," "The Moon," "Earth- 
quakes," " Volcanoes," " The Deluge," 
" The Sources of Power accessible to Man," 
" The Distribution of Metals," " The Geog- 
raphy of Disease," " The Abuses of Sci- 
ence," "The Absence of Trees from Prai- 
ries," " Surface Geology," "The Primitive 
Earth," " The Ancient Atmosphere," " The 
Silurian Strata," " The Carboniferous For- 
mations," " The Origin of Lakes," " Origin 
of Mountains," " The Causes of Rain, 
Winds, and Storms," " History and Nature 
and Uses of Electricity, its Agency in 
Nature," " Galvanism," " Magnetism," 
"Ocean Currents," "The Life of New- 
ton," " Of Laplace," " The Physics of the 
Internal Earth," " Determination of Plane- 
tary Distances," " Geographical Advantages 
for National Ascendancy," " Physics of the 
Internal Earth," " Discovery of Neptune," 
" Revelations of Spectrum Analysis," " The 
Theory of Probabilities in the Detection of 
Crime," and " The Catastrophes in Celes- 
tial Space." 

Professor Vaughan was a correspond- 
ent of various eminent scientific men 
abroad, who had a high opinion of his 
abilities, and many of his papers, were 
translated into the Continental lan- 

One might suppose that so learned 
and accomplished a man, whose name 
gave distinction abroad to the great city 

of his adoption, would have been favored 
and honored by its intelligent and pub- 
lic-spirited citizens, and placed in a 
position so independent as to afford the 
best play to his remarkable powers. 
There is wealth to squander in Cincin- 
nati on all projects and in all ways, as 
becomes a boasting city of the West in 
hot rivalry with St. Louis and Chicago, 
so that one would think it might fitly 
have taken decent care of its most il- 
lustrious scientific man. But it turns 
out that Professor Vaughan was most 
scandalously neglected ; he led a life of 
pinched privation, was left to get a pre- 
carious subsistence by private teaching, 
and was cheated out of his earnings by 
the colleges in which he lectured and 
who got the benefit of his eminent 
name. We do not like to say that 
Professor Vaughan literally starved to 
death in Cincinnati, but he led a life of 
suffering and want, which the past in- 
clement winter brought to a close in a 
hospital, and we are told that "an au- 
topsy revealed the wreck of his vital 
system and proved that the long and 
dreadful process of freezing and starv- 
ing had dried up the very sources of 

We gather the main particulars here 
given from an article in the "Cincin- 
nati Commercial" of April 7th, written 
by Mr. William M. Corry, a friend of 
Professor Vaughan, and subjoin from 
his communication the following ex- 
tracts : 

For years some kind woman, whose 
name we are sorry not to know, boarded and 
lodged Professor Vaughan, and gave him 
more sympathy than he got from all the rest 
of the town, and more also of substantial 
support. He was always sure of a pleasant 
reception at her humble home, and was not 
required to be punctual in his settlements. 
The boarding-house was broken up n year 
or two ago, and our poor friend was the 
worst sufferer. He took a room which was 
cheap, but every way cheerless, inaccessible, 
and uncomfortable. A chair and a bedstead 
with a pile of rags, a worn-out stove, and an 
old coffee-pot, with a few musty shelves of 
books, covered with soot, were all his fur- 



niture. He lived, sick and feeble and old, 
from hand to mouth, often unable to go 
abroad for food, and as badly off for helping 
himself indoors. It were bad to have any 
human being so utterly abandoned, and so 
suffering. Here and there, at wide inter- 
vals, there was a man or woman who would 
have done much to modify this misery, but 
it ought never to have been left to those 
who could scarcely afford to curtail their 
own allowance of plain clothes and victuals 
for another. 

His arduous literary labors were per- 
formed without any compensation whatever. 
(It may be said in this connection that he 
has recently been paid to his satisfaction for 
several essays over his name in " The Popu- 
lar Science Monthly." A most pathetic in- 
cident of the last one is that, the very day 
before his death, he sat upon his bed and 
corrected the proofs, which ought to have 
been done for him, but which he would nev- 
er ask any one to do, and which, if it did 
not cost him his life, without doubt short- 
ened his few remaining hours.) 

Mr. Corry indignantly adds : " There 
can be no doubt that the city has in- 
curred a deep and lasting reproach by 
permitting such a treasure to be de- 
stroyed prematurely by disease and ac- 
tual want, and that she should be told 
of it, and should suffer the conse- 

There is, however, this palliation for 
the conduct of the Cincinnatians. Pro- 
fessor Vaughan was modest, shrinking, 
and unobtrusive, and kept his miseries 
to himself. "He would not give his 
address to his friends, nor permit them 
to ferret him out and ascertain with 
their own eyes his actual condition. 
Nor would he make any explanation, 
much less ask or accept any pecuniary 
assistance." That is, he did not choose 
to submit to the mortification of becom- 
ing an object of charity. No doubt 
there were plenty of people who would 
have given alms, if it had been solicited, 
but the man's self-respect would not 
permit the degradation. It is said he 
neglected himself, and his townsmen 
merely imitated his example ; but this 
is rather a cold-blooded apology for 
leaving a man of genius to penury, rags, 
and starvation. Read over the list of 
vol. xv. 9 

subjects upon which he thought and 
wrote, and read the first paper in this 
" Monthly," which shows the quality of 
his work, and then say how much vigor 
a man would have left to fight his Cin- 
cinnati neighbors in the competitions 
of money-making. He was incompe- 
tent to make money by his very voca- 
tion, and this must have been perfectly 
well known. Why was not a proper 
place made for Professor Vaughan, in 
which he could have given his services 
to the public, and been so fairly paid 
for it that he could have lived in a way 
to favor his best work? The answer is, 
that there was not sufficient apprecia- 
tion of science among the people ; and 
very likely, if by special exertion he had 
been put into a comfortable place, some 
miserable mountebank who knew bet- 
ter how to manage the public would 
have got the position away from him. 


Cooley's Cyclopedia of Practical Re- 
ceipts and Collateral Information in 
the Arts, Manufactures, Professions, 
and Trades, including Medicine, Phar- 
macy, and Domestic Economy : Designed 
as a Comprehensive Supplement to the 
Pharmacopoeia and General Book of 
Reference for the Manufacturer, Trades- 
man, Amateur, and Heads of Families. 
Sixth edition, revised and partly rewrit- 
ten by Richard V. Tuson, F. C. S., 
Professor of Chemistry and Toxicology 
in the Royal Veterinary College. Vol. 
I. New York : D. Appleton &^Co. Pp. 
896. Price, $4.50. 

The rapid development of the practical 
arts in all directions in recent years has 
made it lively for the book-makers, because 
no sooner is a formidable treatise finished 
on these subjects, no matter with what 
painstaking care to bring it up to date, 
than it quickly falls behind, and the author 
has to set himself to work to prepare for 
the inevitable new edition. Time is but 
the register of change ; change brings im- 
provements, and improvements antiquate 
cyclopaedias. And so it begins to be under- 
stood that no literature is so perishable as 
that which deals with facts and solid reali- 



ties. This would be discouraging for book- 
makers and book-sellers, but for the cir- 
cumstance that the old editions become 
soon worthless, and new ones indispensable. 
And it would be hard on the book-buyers, 
but for the fact that the new improvements 
are often so invaluable as to be cheap at 
almost any cost. We can not stop the 
growth of the arts in order to keep the 
treatises that we hare bought perennially 

Cooley's " Cyclopaedia of Practical Re- 
ceipts " is a work of high reputation, not 
only for its comprehensiveness and accu- 
racy, but because it has been kept faith- 
fully up to the times by its successive revi- 
sions ; and a careful examination of the 
sixth edition shows that its standard of ex- 
cellence has been strictly maintained. The 
title " Receipts " is in some respects unfor- 
tunate, as the work is by no means a mere 
receipt-book, and it makes no clap-trap claim 
on the ground that its receipts can be count- 
ed by the thousand. It abounds in important 
practical information of general interest in 
reference to the materials furnished by com- 
merce and used in the arts, their prepara- 
tion, and their purity, and is very full in 
illustrated directions for carrying on ma- 
nipulations, and preparing numerous articles 
and products of general utility. The work 
is important to the chemist, the mechanic, 
the manufacturer, and the householder. It 
will be completed in two volumes, and the 
second may be expected to appear in a few 

Health, and how to promote it. By 
Richard McSherrt, M. D., Professor 
of Practice of Medicine, Maryland Uni- 
versity, President of Baltimore Academy 
of Sciences, etc. New York : D. Apple- 
ton & Co. Pp. 185. Price, $1.25. 

Dr. McSherry has here made both a 
readable and a useful little manual of hy- 
giene. He has no hobbies, and does not 
profess to be the author of any new theo- 
ries for the preservation of health, but he 
goes over the general ground of its condi- 
tions as affected by education, as related to 
the sexes, and as influenced by clothing, 
exercise, diet, and the habitual use of stim- 
ulants. Upon these topics there will be 
found much fresh information, with many 
judicious extracts from the best authori- 

ties, derived from wide and critical reading. 
The author's pages are enlivened with many 
personal references, and interspersed with 
acute observations calculated to please as 
well as to instruct the reader. The book 
will well repay perusal, and we heartily com- 
mend it. 

After Death, what? or, Hell and Sal- 
vation, considered in the Light of 
Science and Philosophy. By Rev. W. 
H. Platt. San Francisco : H. Roman 
& Co. Pp. 209. 

This is decidedly a lively volume. It 
is a sort of colloquial symposium ; that is, it 
undertakes to present both sides of a con- 
troverted subject, or some of the issues of 
religion and science. Yet it differs from 
the symposium proper, in that the discussion 
is carried on conversationally, and still more 
that both sides are represented by one par- 
tisan. The book is written by a clergyman, 
and takes the form of a debate between 
a preacher and a skeptic. The skeptic 
seems a kind of poor stick, made to order 
for the convenience of the preacher, who 
cuffs him about in a very unceremonious 
way, and finally " converts " him. 

The theory of the origin of the book we 
are half inclined to infer may be something 
like this : Rev. W. H. Platt is Rector of 
Grace Church, San Francisco, which is no 
doubt a sound and we trust a prosperous 
orthodox establishment. It is quite likely 
that, in that city of hoodlums, Chinese pa- 
gans, and wicked doubters, some graceless 
persons have poked fun at the Grace Church 
people about their antiquated, superstitious 
notions of hell. Now, even the regenerate 
are liable to suffer from lingering remnants 
of pride, and do not like to be made fun of; 
and so, we may suppose, they turned to their 
shepherd, Rev. W. H. Platt, for protection. 
Whereupon, it may be further assumed, 
he rose in some wrath and resolved to give 
these scoffing skeptics more scientific hell 
than they had ever had of the theological 
sort. We vaguely conjecture this situation 
from the first paragraph of the book : " The 
scientist boldly asks the preacher why he 
continues to preach the old-fashioned hell. 
' Do you not know,' he says, ' that intelli- 
gent people now laugh at your lake of fire 
and brimstone, your devil with horns and 
dragon-tail, and all that sort of stuff?'" 



The discussion is thus launched, and the au- 
thor proceeds to get such abounding proofs 
of hell out of the most modern science as 
must raise the spirits of his desponding 
flock. The advance of science does not 
trouble him ; he accepts its latest conclu- 
sions in the most liberal spirit, but finds 
them all subservient to his purpose. After 
proving immortality on scientific grounds, 
I12 goes on to establish that 

The law of affinity proves a hell. 

The law of association proves it. 

The law of growth proves it. 

The law of propagation proves it. 

The law of involution proves it. 

The law of evolution proves it. 

This is a pretty strong programme, but 
what does the Rev. W. H. Piatt really mean 
by " hell " ? One is led to suppose from 
the way he starts off that he means to stick 
to the literal, old-fashioned notion, and not 
yield to any amelioration of modern theol- 
ogy in regard to this important term. In- 
deed, he gives a side-thrust at Mr. Beecher 
by putting a passage from Beecher's San 
Francisco lecture into the mouth of his 
skeptic as follows : " ' Any way,' said the 
skeptic, ' the old creed and religion must 
give way. There is just as certainly a 
change in the whole religious thought of the 
race as that the sun shines. Doctrines taught 
fifty years ago are neither taught now as 
they then were nor believed as they then 
were believed.' " This the preacher stoutly 
denies. But, when he says "antipathy of 
evil to good is hell," is he not making a new 
definition that would have been scouted by 
orthodox theologians half a century ago? 
Again, he says, " ' Suffering makes all places 
hell just as mental suffering is greater than 
bodily suffering so its hell is worse,' said the 
preacher. ' We have been taught that hell 
is a locality, and so it is. The shadow and 
the beam each have its place. But as a 
village is nothing to an empire, to a conti- 
nent, to a hemisphere ; as the center is 
nothing to a circumference ; as a point is 
nothing to all space, so is the placed hell 
of past teachings as nothing to the unplaced 
hell of science. To the evil ' all places are 
hell.' Hell is in the presence of broken law, 
whether in mind or matter, in time or eter- 
nity.' " 

A quarter of a century ago this would 
have passed for flat UniversaLism. 

The Reign of Gon not the Reign of 
" Law." By Thomas Scott Bacon. 
Baltimore : Turnbull Brothers. Pp. 
400. Price, $1.50. 

A prosy, unreadable book by a very de- 
vout but foolish man, who is in a state of 
anxious alarm at the progress of science, 
and proposes to resist it by clinging with 
increasing desperation to the most literal 
orthodox interpretation of Scripture. We 
do not by any means intimate that the au- 
thor is a fool ; on the contrary, he is what is 
called " learned " ; that is, he quotes strange 
lingos all through his text, and has, no 
doubt, been through college. He can not 
be strictly said to be ignorant of nature, 
but he is in a far worse state of mind than 
that of simple ignorance. There would be 
some hope of teaching a Digger Indian many 
elementary truths concerning natural things, 
because he has no fatal prepossessions re- 
specting them ; but this enlightened Chris- 
tain has got his head so filled with the de- 
tails of a great theological system, and is 
so palsied with fear lest it should be dis- 
turbed, that no real knowledge of nature 
can get entrance or hospitable reception in 
his mind. For example, in his chapter on 
our present geology and astronomy, he in- 
sists that " we may yet find that God chose 
to do all that work of creation in twenty- 
four, or in one hundred and sixty hours of 
our present time, which it is absurd to doubt 
that he could do." Of what use are proofs 
to an intellect in such a condition as this ? 
When many years ago the fossil shells of 
marine life were found on the tops of high 
mountains, and the question arose how they 
came there, the monks readily replied that 
they were created at first in their fossil forms 
with the divine intention of testing men's 
faith in the power of God to do things ex- 
actly as he pleased. This is now regarded 
as sufficiently absurd, and is often quoted 
to illustrate the stupidity of the monks ; but 
their frame of mind survives in our author. 
In a foot-note he says : " Indeed, it is far 
more rational to think that the eternal Lord 
made in a moment of time all this nature, 
and with its suggestiveness to the merely 
worldly mind of long processes of creation, 
meaning this as one of those mysteries of 
spiritual discipline which we find every- 
where else, and which are greater than 
all matter, thus trying and training our 



faith in 
Deity ! 

him." What a notion of the 

Health Primers: No. 1, Exercise and 
Training; No. 2, Alcohol, its Use 
and Abuse; No. 3, The House and 
its Surroundings; No. 4, Premature 
Death, its Promotion or Prevention ; 
No. 5, Personal Appearance in Health 
and Disease ; No. 6, Baths and Bath- 
ing. New York : D. Appleton & Co. 
1879. Pp. 96 each. Price, 40 cents. 

The deep and widespread interest that 
has of late years been taken in matters per- 
taining to the preservation of health has 
caused the publication, among much that 
is good, of a great deal that is bad on the 
subject of hygiene. This has usually ap- 
peared in the shape of crude and untrust- 
worthy compilations, that when made the 
basis of practice have been productive of 
positive injury, and have led to a general 
distrust of all hygienic teaching. These 
Primers originated in a desire to change 
this state of things by supplying, in a form 
suited to the wants of the general reader, 
trustworthy information capable of practi- 
cal use on the more important every-day 
questions relating to personal and family 
hygiene. Their preparation has been un- 
dertaken by several eminent medical and 
scientific men in London; the choice of 
topics and critical supervision of the work 
being intrusted to an able and responsible 

The series, when complete, will consist 
of fifteen volumes ; six of these have now 
been published, and, as will be seen from 
the titles given above, they are all on sub- 
jects of the first importance. The writer in 
every case has been selected for his special 
acquaintance with the subject he was to 
treat, and as a consequence each Primer is 
filled with substantial and useful informa- 
tion, presented in a simple and elementary 
form, that brings it within the reach of the 
average reader. 

Some idea of the valuable practical in- 
formation contained in these volumes may 
be gained from the following resume of the 
contents of those already published : 

No. 1, on " Exercise and Training," is 
illustrated, and" deals first with the "Gen- 
eral Principles" of the subject ; this is fol- 
lowed by " The Exercise suitable for Differ- 
ent Ages, Sex, and Physical Conditions " ; 

and the Primer closes with a chapter on 
" Training," in which the relations of differ- 
ent dietaries to exercise, the amount of ex- 
ercise required, its due regulation, etc., are 
considered. In No. 2, on " Alcohol," the 
properties of this substance are first de- 
scribed in an " Introduction " ; then come, 
the forms in which it is used as a beverage ; 
its effects when taken sparingly and in ex- 
cess ; the diseases it gives rise to ; and its 
right use, if used at all. No. 3, on " The 
House and its Surroundings," opens with a 
chapter pointing out the common defects 
observed in houses ; treats next of site and 
construction ; then of drainage ; water-sup- 
ply ; closets and plumbing ; warming and 
lighting ; bedrooms, kitchen, etc. ; and the 
operations of purification. No. 4, on " Pre- 
mature Death," begins with a statement of 
the proportion of people who die before 
their time ; this is followed by a description 
of the principal causes of premature death ; 
and, lastly, we are told what to do to se- 
cure a reasonable length of days. In No. 5, 
on " Personal Appearance in Health and Dis- 
ease," the form and size of the body, with 
their healthy variations, are first described ; 
the changes that take place in the fatty 
layer or tissue are next discussed ; then the 
changes observed in the bony framework ; 
the changes in the organs due to develop- 
ment, etc. ; artificial alterations of shape ; 
color and changes of color; and, lastly, 
temperament and habit. No. 6 treats of 
the "Physiological Action of Baths"; va- 
rieties of baths ; bathing localities ; and the 
uses of the bath. 

Draper's Scientific Memoirs. New York : 
Harper & Brothers. 1878. 

We briefly noticed this interesting work 
some months ago, with the intention of re- 
curring to it again at a favorable opportu- 
nity, to enforce some points not then con- 
sidered. Meantime there has appeared a 
review of the volume in the " London, Edin- 
burgh, and Dublin Philosophical Magazine," 
that is both so authoritative and so pertinent 
that we can not do better than transfer it to 
the columns of " The Popular Science Month- 
ly." Dr. Draper contributed numerous ar- 
ticles descriptive of his important researches 
to the pages of that magazine at the time 
his investigations were made. Many of the 



results which he reached were at once ac- 
cepted as valid advances in the fields of Phys- 
ics, Chemistry, and Physiology. But, in re- 
gard to the study of the radiations and the 
new results attained in that field, matters 
took a different turn. There was a long se- 
ries of quiet preliminary inquiries that paved 
the way for the splendid demonstrations of 
spectrum analysis, but which were unappre- 
ciated and thrown into the shade after that 
brilliant discovery. A new epoch seemed to 
be suddenly created, and men cared little to 
know who had gone before and prepared 
for it. Unfortunately, this condition of things 
was favorable to the misappropriation of re- 
sults gained by pioneer laborers. As the 
conductors of the " Philosophical Magazine " 
were of course aware of what had appeared 
in their pages, and were familiar with the 
early history of this train of researches, we 
had not much doubt that they would speak 
to the point when the time came. Our read- 
ers will observe that in the subjoined notice 
of Dr. Draper's work they have done so, 
thus decisively confirming the positions 
that we have formerly taken in regard to 
the priority of Dr. Draper in the investiga- 
tions that led up to spectrum analysis. 

Dr. Draper here brings together the 
scattered memoirs and essays that he has 
written during the past forty years on sub- 
jects connected with radiation and radiant 
energy. They are thirty in number, and, 
for the most part, are simply reprints ; but 
in a few cases the original memoirs are 
condensed, and in one or two cases the 
article here given is the substance of a 
considerable number of detached articles. 
Most of them have already appeared in our 
pages ; the earliest of them, on subjects re- 
lating to photography, appeared in 1840. 
" I have endeavored," the author tells us, 
" to reproduce these memoirs as they were 
originally published. When considerations 
of conciseness have obliged me to be con- 
tented with an abstract, it has always been 
so stated, and the place where the original 
may be found has been given. Sometimes, 
the circumstances seeming to call for it, ad- 
ditional matter has been introduced ; but 
this has always been formally indicated 
under the title of ' Notes,' or included in 
parentheses" (p. x.). 

It is probably known to our readers 

that Count Rumford made a donation to 
the American Academy of Arts and Science 
(similar to that which he made to the Royal 
Society) for rewarding discoveries and im- 
provements relating to light and heat made 
in America. The Academy has been rather 
chary of bestowing its honors, and had only 
awarded its Rumford Medal four times be- 
fore it made the award in 1875 to Dr. J. 
W. Draper " for his researches in radiant 
energy." This circumstance has deter- 
mined the selection of articles in the pres- 
ent volume. It comprises the researches 
on which the award was founded. 

The President's statement of the grounds 
of the award is given in the Appendix, and 
may be summarized as follows : 

(a.) Independent discovery of Moser's 

(b.) Measurement of the intensity of 
chemical action of light, by exposing to 
the source of light a mixture of equal vol- 
umes of chlorine and hydrogen. 

(c.) Application of Daguerreotype pro- 
cess to taking portraits. 

(d.) Application of ruled glasses and 
specula to produce spectra for the study 
of the chemical action of light. 

(e.) Investigation of the nature of the 
rays absorbed by growing plants in sun- 

(/.) Discussion of the chemical action 
of light, and proof that rays of all wave- 
lengths are capable of producing chemical 

(g.) Researches on the distribution of 
heat in the spectrum. 

And, finally, an elaborate investigation, 
published in 1847, by which he established 
the following facts, which we will give in 
the words of the award : 

1. All solid substances, and probably liquids, 
become incandescent at the same temperature. 

2. The thermometric point at which sub- 
stances become red-hot is about 977 Fahr. 

3. The spectrum of an incandescent solid is 
continuous ; it contains neither bright nor dark 
fixed lines. 

4. From common temperatures, nearly up to 
977 Fahr., the rays emitted by a solid are invisi- 
ble. At that temperature they are red ; and the 
heat of the incandescing body being made con- 
tinuously to increase, other rays are added, 
increasing in refrangibility as the temperature 

5. While the addition of rays, so much the 
more refrangible as the temperature is higher, 



in taking place, there is an increase in the in- 
tensity of those already existing. The award 
then proceeds as follows : Thirteen years after- 
ward Kirchhoff published his celebrated memoir 
on the relations between the coefficients of emis- 
sion and absorption of bodies for light and heat, 
in which he established mathematically the same 
facts, and announced them as new. 

We are, of course, aware that this is 
rather a burning question ; but, whatever 
may be thought of the justice of these 
claims, there can be no doubt that the fact 
of their having been made on behalf of Dr. 
Draper by so distinguished a body as the 
American Academy of Arts and Science 
ought to be known, and that its judgment 
will receive at least respectful consideration 
whenever the early history of spectroscopic 
science comes to be written. And it is im- 
possible not to draw attention to this fact in 
a notice, however brief, of Dr. Draper's vol- 
ume ; for, plainly, one of the motives of its 
publication is to assert his claims to priority 
of discovery in regard to the points above 
quoted. In fact, the four memoirs which 
bear 'directly on the subject of spectrum 
analysis are printed first in the volume, 
and are followed by a note in which Dr. 
Draper complains, though in very decorous 
language, that he has received considerably 
less than justice at the hands of M. Kirch- 
hoff; and, by way of showing that he has 
tangible grounds for complaint, he makes 
the following quotations (p. 85) from M. 
Jamin's " Cours de Physique," in which re- 
sults that he had previously established are 
formally attributed to M. Kirchhoff: 

M. Kirchhoff has deduced the following im- 
portant consequences : 

Black bodies begin to emit at 977 Fahr. red 
radiations, to which are added successively and 
continuously other rays of increasing refrangibil- 
ity as the temperature rises. 

All substances begin to be red-hot at the same 
temperature in the same inclosure. 

The spectrum of solids and liquids contains 
no fixed lines.* 

Now, it may be said with very little qual- 
ification that what is here attributed to M. 
Kirchhoff is to be found distinctly stated in 
the first memoir in the volume before us, 
which was published by Dr. Draper in 1847. 
By experimenting with a strip of platinum 
heated by the transmission of a current 

* The above quotation is, we presume, to be 
found on pp. 463, 464, vol. iii., edition of 1866. If 
so, it is not exactly a quotation, but is made up 

whose force could be regulated, he ascer- 
tained that the temperature at which red 
rays are first radiated is 977 Fahr. He 
also ascertained that platinum, brass, anti- 
mony, gas-carbon, and lead became incan- 
descent at the same time with the iron bar- 
rel in which they were gradually heated, and 
that the apparent exceptions presented by 
chalk, marble, and fluor-spar were due to 
phosphorescence. By raising the tempera- 
ture of the platinum wire and analyzing 
with a prism the light emitted, he proved 
that the length of its spectrum gradually 
increased with the temperature until at 
2130 Fahr. the full spectrum of daylight 
was attained ; and it is clear that he re- 
garded the result thus obtained as being gen- 
erally true. That the spectrum of the in- 
candescent platinum contained no dark lines 
had indeed come out only incidentally in the 
course of the investigation ; still it was not 
by any means a point seen but not observed ; 
for, in consequence of observing it, he re- 
sorted to a comparison of the spectra of in- 
candescent platinum at different tempera- 
tures with the spectrum of daylight in order 
to determine their extent, instead of fixing 
their extent by the dark lines of the spectra 
themselves, which he had ascertained to 
be non-existent. On the whole, the above 
statement breaks down at nearly every point. 
What is therein referred to M. Kirchhoff was 
certainly ascertained before by Dr. Draper. 
Whether Dr. Draper was the first person to 
observe all these points is a very different 
question, and one we would by no means 
prejudge ; indeed, without going beyond the 
limits of the first Memoir, it is pretty plain 
that the temperature of incandescence was 
known with considerable accuracy before 
Dr. Draper's experiment with the platinum 
wire ; and it certainly was believed (if not 
proved) that the temperature was the same 
for all bodies. 

Habit and Intelligence. A Series of Es- 
says on the Laws of Life and Mind. 
By Joseph Joiin Murphy. New York : 
Macmillan & Co. Pp. 583. Price, $5. 
The first edition of this work appeared 

of parts of a much larger statement. We may 
also observe that Memoir I. of the present vol- 
ume is not in all respects an exact verbal reprint 
of this Memoir published in our " Journal "' for 
May, 1847. This does not, however, affect the 
point at issue. 



nearly ten years ago. It was favorably re- 
ceived, and the author has been encouraged 
to pursue still further the line of thought 
there opened. This second edition is so 
nearly rewritten as to be practically a new 
work. Several chapters have been removed, 
and others condensed and modified, while 
much new matter has been added. It is 
obvious that there are two chief elements 
in this change : first, the progress of the 
subjects, or the increase of our actual knowl- 
edge concerning them ; and, second, the au- 
thor's own progress in mastering them. He 
is occupied by the most tangled and ob- 
scure of modern investigations, upon many 
of which the intellect of the world has but 
just fairly entered ; these he discusses from 
an independent point of view, putting forth 
his own conclusions freely and fully. These 
are such as to merit attention ; and the 
reader who desires to be thoroughly up in 
modern biological and psychological discus- 
sion will find much in Mr. Murphy's vol- 
ume to repay attention. 

The National Dispensatory : Containing 
the Natural History, Chemistry, Phar- 
macy, Actions, and Uses of Medicines, 
including those recognized in the Phar- 
macopoeias of the United States and 
Great Britain. By Alfred Stille, M. 
D., LL. D., Professor of the Theory and 
Practice of Medicine and of Clinical 
Medicine in the University of Pennsyl- 
vania, etc., and John M. Maisch, Ph. D., 
Professor of Materia Medica and Botany 
in the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, 
Secretary to the American Pharmaceuti- 
cal Association. In one very handsome 
octavo volume of over sixteen hundred 
closely-printed pages, with over Two 
Hundred Illustrations. Extra cloth, $6.- 
75 ; leather, raised bands, $7.50. Phila- 
delphia : Henry C. Lea. 

The range of the sciences connected 
with materia medica and therapeutics is not 
only a very wide but also an ever-shifting 
one, growing by constant accessions of facts 
and material, condensing by sifting and dis- 
carding, and appropriating all that which 
has proved of real and more than ephemeral 
value. Pharmacopoeias and compendiums 
of materia medica, in order to keep pace 
with both accessions and restrictions, and 
with general progress, have therefore to be 
revised or rewritten from time to time. 

In the United States, where there as yet 

is no legally authorized Pharmacopoeia, and 
the existing one is but the voluntary work 
of delegates from a number of medical and 
pharmaceutical societies and colleges, the 
"United States Dispensatory," of Profes- 
sors Wood and Bache, for more than forty 
years has been the unrivaled standard in 
this special and important branch of the 
healing art, and as such has, to a very large 
extent, overshadowed the " Pharmacopoeia." 
Since the appearance of the fifth decennial 
revision of the " United States Pharmaco- 
poeia " in 1873, and the failure of the " Unit- 
ed States Dispensatory " to embrace in time 
its improvements, alterations, and additions 
in the way of a new commensurate edition, 
the want became more and more patent 
of a new critical digest, supplementing the 
Pharmacopoeia, representing the advanced 
state of materia medica, and discarding 
the bulk of obsolete material. The an- 
nouncement some years ago that Professors 
Stille and Maisch, of Philadelphia, had en- 
gaged in the preparation of such a work 
was therefore received with the more satis- 
faction and confidence, as both authors are 
recognized authorities in their respective 
departments. The result of their joint labor 
has now made its appearance in the above- 
named volume, containing 1,540 pages, 88 
pages of indexes, and 201 illustrations. 

The practical importance of the objects 
of this work, the elaborate and comprehen- 
sive treatment of the immense material, 
embracing the natural history, chemistry, 
pharmacy, and the actions and uses, of the 
entire domain of the present materia medi- 
ca, in a concise and lucid style, and com- 
mensurate with the advanced state of the 
kindred sciences, make the " National Dis- 
pensatory" at once a complete digest of 
its kind in the English language and a cred- 
itable publication of the American press. 

Without entering in detail upon a critical 
survey of this voluminous work, of its many 
excellencies and comparatively slight and 
few shortcomings, it affords us special plea- 
sure, in justice to its intrinsic value, its im- 
portance, and its prospective usefulness, to 
add our unqualified approval of the master- 
ly way in which the authors have accom- 
plished their task, and have succeeded in 
furnishing for general use, and to the pro- 
fessions of pharmacy and medicine in par- 

i3 6 


ticular, a complete and trustworthy guide 
both for ready reference and for study. In 
this connection we hope that it may prove 
an effectual impetus to, and become largely 
instrumental in, the better, more correct, 
and more thorough study of pharmacology 
so much needed by pharmacists, druggists, 
and physicians, and at the pharmaceutical 
aud medical schools of our country. 

The publisher deserves due credit for the 
good style in which the book has been 
brought out. If shortcomings in this re- 
spect can be pointed out, they consist main- 
ly in the comparative inferiority of quite a 
number of the woodcuts. While a few of 
them as, for instance, on pages 314, 645, 
866, and 1161 are equal to the excellent 
illustrations of the corresponding standard 
works of the French, and in particular of 
the German literature, others are less satis- 
factory, and in not a few cases inadequate 
to such an elaborate work and to the pres- 
ent state of xylography. Future editions 
can remedy this want, and in this respect 
enhance the value of the work by a liberal 
addition of pharmacognostical illustrations. 


Fascine Girls : Their Physiology and Pathol- 
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Fashions of the Dav in Medicine and Science. 
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Famines in Ancient and Modern Times. 

In a statistical paper recently published, 
Mr. Cornelius Walford gives a chronologi- 
cal table of the famines of which historic 
racord exists, and then in twelve other 
tables notes the operation of the various 
causes, natural and artificial, which tend to 
produce famines, among the natural causes 
being floods and inundations, frost, drought, 
sundry other meteorological phenomena, in- 
sects, and vermin. The artificial causes are 
considered under the heads of war, defec- 
tive agriculture, defective transport, legis- 
lative interference, currency restrictions, 
speculation, and, finally, misapplication of 
grain. What strikes the reader who 
glances at the first table is the great fre- 
quency of famines in earlier times, as com- 
pared with the present. Take, for instance, 
the record of two or three hundred years, 
beginning with the year 600, and compare 
it with that of the hundred years beginning 
with the year 1775. And, in making this 
comparison, it must be remembered that 
such events are sure to find permanent rec- 
ord to-day, while in earlier times the record 
was local, and has in many instances since 
been effaced. Mr. Walford's first table re- 
cords, under the date 600 to 604, famine in 
France ; 605, in England ; 625, in Britain 
(grievous); 664, Ireland great famine; 
667, Scotland (grievous) ; 669, France 
great famine ; 669, Ireland great scarcity, 
also in the following year ; 680, Britain, from 
three years' drought ; 695, England, and 700, 
Ireland famine and pestilence for three 
years, " so that men ate each other" ; 703, 
Italy three years' famine; 712, Wales; 
730, England, Wales, and Scotland great 
famine ; 748, Scotland ; 759, Ireland 
great famine ; 768, same country famine, 
and again 772 ; 774, Scotland famine, 
"with plague"; 791, Wales grievous 
famine ; 793, England famine ; 803, Scot- 
land " terrible " famine; 822-'23, Eng- 
land "thousands starve"; 824-'25, Ire- 
landgreat dearth ; 836, Wales " the 
ground covered with dead bodies of men 
and beasts" ; 845, Bulgaria great famine; 
851, Italy and Germany famine ; 856, 
Scotland a four years' famine began ; 
836, same country famine, with plague ; 

872, England famine " from ugly locust." 
In this century Paris was visited by famine 
three times. Now, turn to the record of 
the last hundred years. In 1775, at Cape 
de Verde great famine 16,000 persons 
perish ; 1789, France grievous famine, 
province of Rouen ; 1795, England scarci- 
ty of food severely felt ; 1801, United King- 
domgreat scarcity; flour obtained from 
America ; 1812, England and Ireland great 
scarcity ; 1813, Poland famine consequent 
on an inundation; same year 5,000 souls 
perished in Sweden ; 1822, Ireland dread- 
ful famine, produced by failure of potato 
crop; 1832, same country famine Par- 
liament grants 40,000 for relief, and 74,- 
410 subscribed in England; 1845, same 
country Parliament advanced 10,000,- 
000 275,000 persons supposed to have 
perished ; famine lasted nearly six years ; 
1,029,552 persons died in this period from 
starvation and pestilence consequent on 
it ; population reduced by these causes 
and emigration by about 2,500,000; 1847, 
France scarcity; 1877, Brazil upward of 
200,000 of the population exposed to fam- 
ine. We have purposely omitted notices of 
the famines in countries outside of Europe, 
or not settled mainly by Europeans. In 
such regions famine is at least as frequent 
and dread a visitant as ever it was. The 
contrast made by the foregoing figures is 
highly creditable to modern civilization. 

The Age of the World. The age of the 

world, as estimated by T. Mellard Reade, in 
a paper contributed to the London Royal 
Society, is enormously in excess of the lim- 
its assigned by certain physicists, and al- 
lows ample time for the production of all 
the changes of the organic and inorganic 
world postulated by the theory of evolu- 
tion. Limestones, he remarks, have been 
in course of formation from the earliest 
known geological periods, but it would ap- 
pear that the later-formed strata are more 
calcareous than the earlier, and that there 
has in fact been a gradually progressive in- 
crease of calcareous matter. The very ex- 
tensive deposition of carbonate of lime over 
wide areas of the ocean-bottom at the pres- 
ent day is attested by the soundings of the 
Challenger. According to Mr. Reade, the 
sedimentary crust of the earth is at least one 

i 3 8 


mile in average actual thickness, of which 
probably one tenth consists of calcareous 
matter. In seeking the origin of this calcare- 
ous matter, it is assumed that the primitive 
rocks of the original crust were of the nature 
of granitic or basaltic rocks. By disintegra- 
tion of such rocks, calcareous and other sedi- 
mentary deposits have been formed. The 
amount of lime-salts in waters which drain 
districts made up of granites and basalts is on 
an average about 3 - 75 parts in 100,000 parts 
of water. It is further assumed that the 
exposed areas of igneous rocks, taking an 
average throughout all geological time, will 
bear to the exposures of sedimentary rocks 
a ratio of about one to nine. From these 
and other data Mr. Reade concludes that 
the elimination of the sedimentary strata 
must have occupied at least six hundred 
million years. This would be the minimum 
age of the world. The author infers that 
the formation of the Laurentian, Cambrian, 
and Silurian strata must have occupied 
about two hundred million years ; the Old 
Red Sandstone, the Carboniferous, and the 
Poikilitic systems another two hundred 
million ; and all the other strata the re- 
maining two hundred million. 

Professor Clarke on Lockyer's Research- 
es. Professor F. W. Clarke, of Cincinnati, 
sends a letter to "Science News " in relation 
to the recent views of Mr. Lockyer on the 
compound nature of the chemical elements. 
Professor Clarke was himself early in that 
field, and published a very suggestive article 
in "The Popular Science Monthly" of Jan- 
uary, 1873, on " Evolution and the Spectro- 
scope," in which he announced on spectro- 
scopic grounds the hypothesis that the evo- 
lution of planets from nebula had been 
accompanied by an evolution of complex 
from simple forms of matter. The idea 
was based upon the gradation in chemical 
complexity of the celestial spectra. About 
eight months later Mr. Lockyer put forth es- 
sentially the same views, resting them upon 
exactly the same evidence. Professor Clarke 
then goes over the ground recently taken 
by Lockyer, and recognizes that he has de- 
cidedly advanced the inquiry from a theo- 
retical point of view. He traces the new 
lines of evidence, and considers that absolute 
demonstration may perhaps be attainable 

only by an actual decomposition of the ele- 
ments in the laboratory ; but a probability 
so strong as to command universal accept- 
ance may be otherwise established. Mr. Lock- 
yer has done much toward establishing this 
probability, and it is to be hoped that he 
will successfully continue his labors in the 
same direction. Meanwhile, chemists must 
seek new evidence from other sources, un- 
til, one way or another, the vexed question 
shall be laid definitely at rest. 

The Distinctions between Man and Ani- 
mals. In a brief and sprightly, if not very 
profound article, a writer in the " Monthly 
Journal of Science " examines the validity 
of one of the principal distinctions which 
have been drawn between man and animals, 
namely, the supposed fact that while men 
progress as individuals, as communities, 
and as a species, animals stand stock-still, 
each succeeding generation attaining just 
the development of its predecessor and no- 
thing more. The author, on the contrary, 
maintains that the individual man does not 
make progress from the cradle to the grave, 
but that, from the middle of life, and often 
indeed from an earlier date, he is a mere 
bundle of habits and prejudices : no further 
mental growth is possible, however long he 
may happen to survive. To a man, then, 
brutes exhibit no well-marked contrast, but 
a decided similarity : in the earlier part of 
life they are, like ourselves, capable of prog- 
ress ; but later their faculties are blunted, 
and, like man, they become stationary ; as 
far, therefore, as individual progress is con- 
cerned, man and beast differ only in degree. 
There is also among mankind a national or 
tribal progress distinct from that of the in- 
dividual and that of the species, but, like 
them, not unlimited in extent and duration. 
Nations decay, and the cause of this decay 
is to be sought in the decline of that which 
in a nation corresponds to vitality in the 
individual the " tribal instinct." Among 
those animal species which live in organized 
communities or nations the very same phe- 
nomenon occurs, and every ant-hill might 
have its Gibbon. The author here cites the 
observations of Berthelot, already quoted 
in the " Monthly" (current volume, p. 248.) 
It remains to consider the real or fancied 
superiority of every generation of mankind 



over the foregoing ; this superiority the au- 
thor calls in question. Even as regards 
knowledge and power, the advance which 
some claim as a characteristic of humanity 
is effected by exceptional individuals who 
arise in certain races under favorable cir- 
cumstances only, and is quite compatible 
with long intervals of immobility and even 
of decline. Besides, it is not proved that 
the lower animals are literally incapable of 
progress. To enforce this point the author 
quotes certain interesting observations made 
by the writer of a work entitled " Flowers 
and their Unbidden Guests," who had for 
months been in the habit of sprinkling pow- 
dered sugar on the sill of his window, for a 
train of ants which passed in constant pro- 
cession from the garden to the window. 
" One day he took it into his head to put 
the powdered sugar into a vessel, which he 
fastened with a string to the transom of the 
window, and, in order that his long-petted 
insects might have information of the sup- 
ply suspended above, a number of the same 
set of ants were placed with the sugar in 
the vessel. These busy creatures forthwith 
seized on the particles of sugar, and, soon 
discovering the only way open to them, viz., 
up the string, over the transom, and down 
the window-frame, rejoined their fellows on 
the sill, whence they could resume the old 
route down the wall into the garden. Be- 
fore long the route over the new track from 
the sill to the sugar by the window-frame, 
transom, and string, was completely estab- 
lished, and so passed a day or two without 
anything new. Then one morning it was 
noticed that the ants were stopping at their 
old place, the window-sill, and again getting 
sugar there. Not a single individual any 
longer traversed the path that led thence 
to the sugar above. This was not because 
the store above had been exhausted, but 
because some dozen little fellows were work- 
ing away vigorously and incessantly up aloft 
in the vessel, dragging the sugar-crumbs to 
its edge, and throwing them down to their 
comrades on the sill." 

The Earthquake of Kovember 18, 1878. 

Of the earthquake of November 18, 1878, 
Professor Nipher, of the University of St. 
Louis, says that it was felt over an area of 
fully 150,000 square miles, the region dis- 

turbed forming an ellipse, with its major 
axis reaching from Leavenworth to Tusca- 
loosa, a distance of over 600 miles. The 
minor axis extended from near Clarksville, 
Arkansas, to a point midway between Cairo 
and St. Louis, a distance of 300 miles. The 
region of greatest disturbance was along 
the Mississippi from Cairo to Memphis. 
Here the shocks were universally felt ; the 
walls of buildings could be seen to move, 
and strong frame houses creaked as when 
every joint is strained by a strong wind. 
At Ironton, Missouri, the shock was so se- 
vere as to alarm some of the occupants of 
brick houses. Along the Missouri from 
Glasgow to Lexington the shock was also 
severe, awakening many families, who 
thought a heavy wind-storm was in prog- 
ress. The shock appears to have been felt 
first at Glasgow at 11 h. 23 m. (St. Louis 
time). The shock traveled rapidly along the 
axis of the ellipse, reaching Cairo at 11 h. 
48 m., and Memphis at 11 h. 50 m. At Lit- 
tle Rock it was distinctly felt, although not 
observed at Clarksville, which is thirty 
miles farther up the river. 

Physiological Effects of Arsenic. The 

physiological effects of arsenic have lately 
been studied anew by Gies, who adminis- 
tered minute doses of the poison daily for 
four months to pigs, rabbits, and fowls. 
The daily dose for a rabbit was 00005 to 
0-0007 of a gramme, for a pig 0005 to 0-05, 
and for a fowl 0-001 to 0"008. In all these 
animals the weight of the body increased, 
and the subcutaneous fat was augmented. 
In young growing animals the bones de- 
veloped considerably, both in length and in 
girth, and they presented the peculiarity 
that, wherever in the normal state spongy 
tissue exists, it was superseded by compact 
bone. Moreover, just as Weigner found to 
be the case in animals supplied with small 
doses of phosphorus in their food, a com- 
pact layer of bone was found immediately 
beneath the epiphyseal cartilages of the long 
bones. This effect was apparent after the 
arsenic had been given for nineteen days, 
and where only 002 to 0"035 gramme had 
been taken. It was observed that animals 
fed in the same stable presented the same 
appearances in the bones, which Gies refers 
to the air being laden with the arsenic elimi- 



nated by the lungs and skin of the animals 
under experiment, for he found that the 
same changes were observable in animals 
kept in a cage, the bottom of which was 
strewed with arsenic. Besides the changes 
in the bones, the heart, liver, kidneys, and 
even the spleen, underwent fatty degenera- 
tion. The young of animals fed with ar- 
senic were invariably born dead, though 
they attained a large size, and presented 
remarkable hypertrophy of the spleen, and 
incipient changes in the bones. 

What shall wc eat ? Dr. E. C. Angell, 
author of a paper in " The Sanitarian " en- 
titled " Alimentation in Health and Dis- 
ease," would make wheaten food and not 
beef the basis of alimentation. In a natu- 
ral and rational system of dietetics wheat 
and the allied seed-foods, including beans, 
lentils, peas, and rice, must, he holds, take 
the place now usurped by animal foods, 
including, besides flesh-meats, butter, cheese, 
eggs, and milk. Next should come the ap- 
petizing, juicy fruits, and then the plant- 
foods, which are neither seeds nor fruits, 
and which are generally styled vegetables. 
After these come the various animal foods, 
and last of all the stimulating spices, bever- 
ages, and other food adjuncts. According 
to Dr. Angell, " the true life-giving and men- 
tal, moral, and physical force - producing 
bread is neither more nor less than sound, 
ripe wheat when deprived of its thin outer 
silicious husk, coarsely ground and mixed 
with water, and subjected to just that de- 
gree of kneading and baking which will 
suffice to prepare it for mastication, insali- 
vation, and the subsequent action of the 
gastric juice." The dough should be knead- 
ed into rolls a little larger than the largest 
macaroni, and when baked the product 
gets the name of " sticks." In these 
" sticks " we have every nutritious element 
of the grain, with no fermentation, no cryp- 
togamic vegetation, no deleterious chemical 
or mineral ingredients. We have, further- 
more, a substance that must be chewed, as 
it can not be swallowed without due mas- 
tication and insalivation, and consequently 
its digestion is insured. Attrition, or cold- 
blast wheat, coarsely ground and unbolt- 
ed, contains all the natural nutritive ele- 
ments of the wheat. Besides this, it pos- 

sesses the mechanical properties which dis- 
tend the intestines, promoting their peri- 
staltic action; it is therefore antidotal to 
dyspepsia. For children it is specially val- 
uable, and its substitution for common 
bread, and the use of fruits instead of flesh- 
food, until the deciduous teeth shall have 
given place to the permanent denture, would 
be of incalculable benefit and would con- 
tribute to the production of good teeth. 
" The early loss of these organs," says Dr. 
Angell, "is conclusive evidence that the 
prevailing system of dietetics is radically 

Government Aid to Artisan Schools. In 

England government aid is given toward 
the support of science schools for artisans 
and mechanics, a sum of money being 
granted to the teacher according to the 
number of students whom he succeeds in 
getting through the government examina- 
tion. Furthermore, in order to encourage 
the students, valuable prizes are presented 
to those who obtain first-class certificates 
at the examinations, which, it may be added, 
are not competitive, that is to say, if every 
student succeeds in obtaining the requisite 
percentage of marks, all obtain what are 
termed Queen's prizes. If the class be one 
in which scientific apparatus is required, 
the Government pays half the cost of such 
apparatus. Already above 50,000 young 
men attain a respectable proficiency in one 
or more branches of practical science ev- 
ery year. In " Chambers's Journal," from 
which the foregoing particulars are taken, 
we find the following interesting account of 
the rise and progress of one of these science 
schools for young artisans : " In the town 
in which this school is situated, a few 
spirited young men determined to have a 
class during the winter. Their scheme at 
first met with some opposition, but the 
young men were bent on extending to their 
town the advantages which the Government 
of the country hold forth to the industrial 
classes to educate themselves ; and, ere the 
first days of winter had gone, the class be- 
came an accomplished fact. The difficulty 
experienced in obtaining the requisite in- 
struments for the class was got over partly 
by means of the aid from Government, and 
partly by the ingenuity of the young men 



themselves, who constructed several of the 
more expensive pieces of apparatus. A 
great deal can be done in tbis way. At the 
very lowest computation, one half of the 
apparatus might be extemporized by the 
teacher, and, if (as was done in the town 
under consideration) the construction of 
every article were carefully explained to 
the students, it would give them a grasp 
and familiarity with the subject which they 
could not otherwise obtain. The subject 
being entirely new to every one of the 
students, their attention was kept up, and 
their interest in the work never allowed to 
flag, by an unsparing use of the apparatus 
in performing as many experiments as pos- 
sible. It turned out, however, that those 
students who were likely to fail at the 
government examination would do so not 
because their information was defective, 
but because of their inability to put their 
thoughts into writing. From want of prac- 
tice they experience so much difficulty in 
arranging their facts in intelligible sen- 
tences, that one half of their available time 
has passed before they have completed the 
answer to the first question on the exami- 
nation paper. This difficulty was got over 
by giving the students questions to work 
at home, and having a written examination 
every month during the course of the ses- 
sion. The result proved the efficacy of this 
arrangement. Nearly sixty students have 
been examined in the first stage of the 
subject, and there has not been a single 

Japanese Archaeology. Tn a report of a 
lecture by Professor E. S. Morse, published 
in the " Tokio Times," we find the follow- 
ing list of human bones found in the kitchen- 
midden at Omori, their presence, together 
with other circumstances, indicating, in the 
opinion of the Professor, that the locality 
was once inhabited by cannibals (see " Pop- 
ular Science Monthly," vol. xiv., p. 257) : 
Right humerus ; length of fragment, 195 
millimetres ; proximal end gone. Left 
humerus ; length of fragment, 215 mm. ; 
both ends gone. Left humerus ; length of 
fragment, 160 mm. ; both ends gone. Right 
ulna ; length of fragment, 200 mm. ; distal 
end gone. Right ulna ; length of fragment, 
180 mm. ; both ends gone. Right radius ; 

length of fragment, 80 mm. ; upper portion 
only. Right femur ; length of fragment, 
150 mm. ; proximal end and portion of 
shaft only. Right femur ; length of frag- 
ment, 270 mm. ; both ends gone. Right 
femur ; length of fragment, 280 mm. ; both 
ends gone. Right femur ; length of frag- 
ment, 107 mm. ; upper portion of shaft. 
Right femur ; length of fragment, 304 mm. ; 
articular surfaces broken; child. Left fe- 
mur; length of fragment, 160 mm.; shaft 
only. Left femur ; length of fragment, 270 
mm. ; great trochanter and head and distal 
end gone; child. Left femur; length of 
fragment, 85 mm. ; lower portion only ; 
articular surface gone ; child. Right tibia ; 
length of fragment, 135 mm. ; upper portion 
of shaft. Right fibula ; length of fragment, 
205 mm. ; both ends broken. Fifth right 
metatarsal ; length, 65 mm. ; distal articu- 
lar surface partially gone. Left lower max- 
illary. Left parietal. 

now the Humming-Bird feeds. Mr. A. 

R. Wallace's account of the way in which 
the humming-bird takes its food, whether 
nectar or insects, would appear to be er- 
roneous in the light of the observations 
made by W. H. Ballou, of Evanston, Il- 
linois. According to Wallace, " the tubu- 
lar and retractile tongue enables the bird 
to suck up honey from the nectaries of 
flowers, and also to capture small insects ; 
but whether the latter pass down the tubes, 
or are entangled in the fibrous tips and 
thus drawn back into the gullet, is not 
known." Mr. Ballou's observations are re- 
corded in the " American Naturalist." He 
attracted to his house two humming-birds 
by a saucer of sirup placed on the window- 
sill, to which the birds would come every 
day to satisfy their hunger. They always 
alighted on the edge of the saucer, and 
lapped the sirup as a dog laps water. The 
question whether insects " pass down the 
tubes or are entangled in the fibrous tips 
and are thus drawn back into the gullet" 
was also solved by Mr. Ballou. Insects too 
large to pass through these tubes being 
placed in their way, the birds were observed 
to take them as readily as smaller ones. 
The insects were evidently secured by ad- 
hesion to the saliva of the tongue-tips, and 
thence drawn into the gullet. The author 



thinks that the tubes of the tongue connect 
with the lungs rather than with the diges- 
tive passage. These interesting observa- 
tions were abruptly terminated one day by 
the coming of a third " hummer" a male 
who drove the others from the window, 
and, in a fit of rage, darted at one of them, 
and thrust his bill well through its body ; 
both then fell to the ground dead. 

Wines as Iatoxicants. Supposing two 
wines, a white wine and a red, to contain 
the same proportion of alcohol, may the 
one be more intoxicating than the other ? 
That such is the case appears from a com- 
munication to the London " Spectator " by 
Samuel James Capper, who declares it to 
be an incontestable fact that in all white- 
wine districts, and of course in all cider- 
producing countries, drunkenness is much 
more prevalent than where red wine is 
grown. Mr. Capper quotes the observa- 
tions of a lady who was in the habit of 
spending six months of the year in a cha- 
teau on the Loire, while the other six 
months were spent on an estate near Di- 
nan. " She assured me," writes Mr. Cap- 
per, " that the difference in the matter of 
sobriety was most marked between the 
peasants on the Loire, whose habitual bev- 
erage was red wine, and the Normans and 
Bretons, who drink cider, to the exclusion 
of everything else, even water." He adds 
that " in the Pays de Vaud the abundant 
supply of white wine is admitted by all 
thoughtful inhabitants to be a great curse. 
Very few laboring men attain old age, their 
nervous systems breaking down entirely, 
through their intemperate use of the prod- 
uct of the smiling vineyards that line the 
shores of Lake Leman. An hotel proprie- 
tor of great experience assured me that he 
found it better in every way to supply his 
servants and laborers with a cheap red wine 
from France than to let them drink the 
white wine of the country." Mr. Capper 
accounts for the difference in the effects of 
red and white wine by the fact that the 
former is very rich in tannin, which is ab- 
sent in the latter. The tannin exercises an 
astringent influence, and clones the pores of 
the stomach, thus preventing the alcohol 
from going straight to the brain, as it does 
in the case of white wine. 

Grief in a Chimpanzee. That the chim- 
panzee is capable of feeling grief, regret 
for the death of a companion, Mr. A. E. 
Brown holds to be proved by the beha- 
vior of the surviving one of a pair of those 
animals kept for some time in the Zoologi- 
cal Garden of Philadelphia. The animals 
had been very much attached to each 
other ; they never quarreled, and, if occa- 
sion required one to be handled with any 
degree of force, the other was always pre- 
pared to take its part. After the death of 
the female, her consort made many at- 
tempts to rouse her, and when this was 
found to be impossible his rage and -grief 
were piteous. Tearing the hair, or rather 
snatching at the short hair on his head, had 
always been one of his common expressions 
of extreme anger, and he was now seen to 
do this frequently; but the ordinary yell 
of rage which he set up at first finally 
changed to a cry before unheard by the 
keeper, and which may be represented by 
hah ah ah ah ah, uttered somewhat 
under the breath, and with a plaintive 
sound like a moan. He made repeated ef- 
forts to awaken his dead companion, lift- 
ing up her head and hands, pushing her 
violently, and rolling her over. After the 
body had been removed from the cage he 
became more quiet, and remained so as 
long as his keeper was with him, but, catch- 
ing sight of the body once when the door 
was opened, and again when it was carried 
past the front of the cage, he became vio- 
lent, and cried for the rest of the day. The 
day following he sat still most of the time 
and moaned continually ; but this gradually 
passed away, and from that time forward 
he has manifested a sense of a change in 
his surroundings only by a more devoted at- 
tachment to his keeper and a longer fit of 
anger when he leaves him. 

Sensibility of the Eye to Light. A high- 
ly interesting series of experiments on the 
sensibility of the eye to light is described 
by Charpentier, in a communication to the 
Paris Academy of Sciences. With the aid 
of a special apparatus for graduating at 
will the intensity of the incident rays, he 
finds that if the intensity be gradually in- 
creased from zero the sensation is devel- 
oped after a certain minimum degree has 



been reached. But, if the intensity of the 
stimulus be now as gradually diminished, 
the eye will continue to perceive it till it 
has fallen to one third or one fourth of 
the original minimum. In producing the 
initial sensation a certain amount of light 
has, so to speak, been wasted in putting 
the machinery in motion. Further, if the 
eye has been carefully shielded from the 
light for some minutes before performing 
the experiment, it will be capable of per- 
ceiving light which is fifty or even one 
hundred times less intense than that re- 
quired to produce a luminous sensation. 
This enormous difference is equally manifest- 
ed whether monochromatic or white light 
be employed. Now, if we apply a similar 
test to the sensation of color, we find that 
for the chromatic as for the luminous stimu- 
lus a certain minimum is needed to produce 
the sensation, which still continues to be ex- 
cited when the intensity of the stimulus is 
progressively diminished. So far, the two 
sensations, of light and color, obey the same 
law. But if we proceed to compare the 
sensitiveness of the eye in full activity with 
that of the eye which has been allowed a 
period of absolute rest, we no longer find 
any such increase in its susceptibility to 
the chromatic stimulus as was observed in 
the case of light. This result is altogether 
opposed to the current opinion that the 
sensation excited by white light is really 
a resultant of the simultaneous development 
of several determinate color sensations ; it 
shows, on the contrary, that the sensation 
of light is altogether independent of that of 
color, and really a simpler kind of reaction 
on the part of the visual apparatus. 

" Oil on the Troubled Waters." The 
fishermen of the Shetland Isles, as we learn 
from a writer in " Chambers's Journal," are 
wont, when in utmost peril during a storm, 
to throw oil on the waters to still them. 
They crush in their hands the livers of any 
ling or cod they may have caught, and keep 
throwing them astern and around them. 
" The effect," we are told, " is magical. 
The waves are not lessened in size ; but 
they no longer break, and it is only from 
their breaking close to the boat and so 
being dashed in upon her and filling her 
that there is danger. The rapidity with 
which the oil spreads over a considerable 

space of sea around is marvelous, and 
scarcely to be credited except by one who 
has witnessed the phenomenon." An ex- 
pedient so simple might often be of invalu- 
able service in saving life and property. 
The difficulty and peril, for instance, of 
launching a boat from a sinking ship in a 
storm are mostly caused by the wind break- 
ing the waves over the boat and filling her 
or dashing her against the vessel's side. 
" The danger of such a mishap would un- 
questionably be greatly lessened by throw- 
ing overboard some oil, which ought always 
to be kept handy. Boats also going from 
one ship to the assistance of another in dis- 
tress, and life-boats on their way to a wreck, 
and boarding it, might often with very great 
advantage use a little oil, if its effects were 
only better known. Another case in which 
oil might be of the greatest service is when 
a man accidentally falls or is washed over- 
board. Life-buoys are thrown into the sea, 
the ship is brought to as quickly as possible, 
boats are lowered and a search made ; but, 
before all this can be done, the vessel has 
run a considerable distance, and, although 
the poor struggler in the water may be a 
good swimmer and able to keep afloat for 
some time, the great difficulty is to find the 
exact spot where he is to be sought for. A 
life-buoy or a man's head is a small object 
to descry among heaving waves and white 
foam. If life-buoys were constructed so as 
to contain a small portion of oil in a little 
receptacle or India-rubber bag attached to 
them, to be punctured with a knife before 
being thrown overboard, the effect would 
be not only to prevent the sea from break- 
ing over the castaway, so making it easier 
for him to keep afloat, but would indicate 
to the searchers almost the exact spot 
where to look for him." 


The commonly received theory of dew is 
that it results from the condensation of the 
moisture of the air by contact with surfaces 
of a lower temperature. This theory is re- 
jected by Professor Stockbridge, of the Mas- 
sachusetts Agricultural College. He holds 
dew to be the vapor from the soil condensed 
by the cooler air, and states as follows the 
results of his experiments: 1. The vapor of 
the soil is much warmer at night than the 
air, and would be condensed by it. 2. Va- 

! 4 4 


por from the soil is soon diffused and equal- 
ized in the whole atmosphere, but in the 
largest proportion when evaporation is tak- 
ing place near the surface of the soil; and, 
other things being equal, plants nearest the 
earth have the most dew. 3. Dew under 
haycocks, boards, and like objects on the 
ground, could receive it from no other 

Professor Baird has dissipated the 
cloud of mystery which from olden time 
has veiled the mode of propagation of the 
eel by his finding the ripe ovaries of the 
animal. It appears that what Professor 
Baird shows to be the ovary of the eel has 
been known under the name of "eel-fat." 
This " fat," under the microscope, is seen to 
consist of egg-cells, of which a single fish 
may contain as many as 9,000,000. 

At a meeting of the Baltimore Academy 
of Medicine, Dr. McSherry recounted the 
case of a lady who took cold two years ago, 
from sleeping in damp sheets, and has ever 
since been devoid of the sense of smell. 
Her sense of taste is also impaired to such 
a degree that she can not distinguish be- 
tween different sorts of meats and vegeta- 
bles. Pepper she recognizes by its pungen- 
cy. The hearing is acute. Another physi- 
cian present cited the case of a lady who 
lost the sense of smell several years ago, 
from catarrhal trouble. She is unable to 
distinguish the different kinds of food and 
drink. Her mother met with the same loss 
after typhoid fever, and never recovered 
from it. In another case the sense of smell 
was lost after illness, that of taste being re- 

An examination of the blood of Cephalo- 
poda by Fredericq shows that in the oxidized 
state corresponding to that of our arterial 
blood, this liquid is of an intense blue color, 
and that as it loses its oxygen it grows 
pale. It contains a substance analogous to 
hemoglobine, in which a metal plays the same 
part as iron in the blood of superior animals, 
but in the cephalopod the metal is copper. 

A Spanish technical journal, the " Gaceta 
Industrial," pronounces American-made car- 
tridges to be superior to all others, the su- 
periority being due in part to the alloys 
used in the manufacture, in part to the ma- 
chinery, and in part also to the skill of the 
workmen. Foreign governments have sent 
experts hither to study the methods in use 
in our factories, but the result has been un- 

In 1872 the population of the city of 
Tokio (formerly Yedo) was 595,905 souls. 
It has since nearly doubled, for the last cen- 
sus shows it to be now 1,030,771. The num- 
ber of houses is 236,961, or one house per 
4 - 37 of the inhabitants. 

A woman in England having received an 
injury on the leg which caused a profusely 
bleeding wound, applied a poultice of tobac- 
co to the injured part. Soon the patient ex- 
hibited alarming symptoms, and a physician 
being called, found her extremely prostrated : 
there were dimness of sight, dizziness and 
confusion of thoughts, nausea, and vomit- 
ing. The poultice was removed, an antidote 
(strychnia) and stimulants administered, and 
the patient slowly improved. 

The yearly consumption of quinine in 
the United States is computed at 800,000 
ounces ; at an average price of $2.50 per 
ounce, this represents an annual outlay for 
this drug of $2,000,000. Of opium the an- 
nual consumption, whether as a medicinal 
agent or as an intoxicant, is 220,000 pounds, 
costing, at four dollars per pound, rather 
less than one million dollars. 

The cremation method of disposing of 
dead bodies is not making very rapid prog- 
ress toward universal acceptance either in 
England or the United States. The medical 
press of the former country appears to be 
opposed to the practice. The celebrated 
crematory at Washington, Pennsylvania, the 
only one in the United States, has, we learn 
from the " Medical and Surgical Reporter," 
been converted into a factory for canning 
fruits ! 

In the present year occurs the eighteenth 
centenary of the destruction of Pompeii and 
Herculaneum by an eruption of Mount Ve- 
suvius. It is intended to commemorate this 
event in a becoming manner next November, 
and invitations have been issued to the most 
eminent Italian archaeologists to be present 
on the occasion. 

The honey mesquite is one of the prin- 
cipal forest trees of Texas. It is a short, 
spreading tree, attaining an average trunk- 
diameter of eighteen inches. It belongs to 
the Lec/uminosw, and bears pods nine to ten 
inches long, containing beans imbedded in 
a sweet pulp. Both the beans and the pulp 
are eaten by the Indians, and they form 
good fodder for horses. The wood is very 
hard and durable. 

In the summer of 1877 some remains of 
an old Roman bridge viz., a number of oak 
piles and beams were found in the bed 
of the Neckar, at Heidelberg. Some of the 
piles were drawn with the iron points or 
shoes which had been used to drive them 
into the ground, and these shoes were found 
to be of the same shape and strength as 
those used at the present day for like pur- 
poses. Of the seven piers which supported 
the roadway of the bridge, five were found 
in situ at equal distances (thirty-four and a 
half metres) from each other. 




JUNE, 1879. 




ZOOLOGY is the scientific study of the past history of animal life, 
for the purpose of understanding its future history. Since man 
has, in part at least, conscious control of his own destiny, it is of vital 
importance to human welfare in the future that we should learn, by 
this comparative study of the past, what are the lines along which 
progress is to be expected, and what the conditions favorable to this 
progress, in order that we may use our exceptional powers in harmony 
with the order of nature. 

The study of the growth of civilization shows that human advance- 
ment has been accompanied by a slow but constant improvement in 
the condition of women, as compared with men, and that it may be 
very accurately measured by this standard. Judging from the past, 
we may be sure that one of the paths for the 'future progress of the 
race lies in this improvement, and the position of women must there- 
fore be regarded as a most important social problem. If there is, as I 
shall try to show, a fundamental and constantly increasing difference 
between the sexes ; if their needs are different, and if their parts in 
the intellectual, moral, and social evolution of the race, are, like their 
parts in the reproductive process, complemental, the clear recognition 
of this difference must form both the foundation and superstructure 
of all plans for the improvement of women. 

If there is this fundamental difference in the sociological influence 
of the sexes, its origin must be sought in the physiological differences 
between them, although the subject is now very far removed from the 
province of ordinary physiology. While we fully recognize the insig- 

VOL. XV. 10 


nificance of the merely animal differences between the sexes, as com- 
pared with their intellectual and moral influence, it is none the less 
true that the origin of the latter is to be found in the former ; in the 
same manner to use a humble illustration that the origin of the 
self-denying, disinterested devotion of a dog to his master is to be 
found in that self -negation which is necessary in order that a herd of 
wolves may act in concert under a leader, for the general good. 

In order 'to trace the origin and significance of the differences 
which attain to such complexity and importance in the human race, 
we must carry our retrospect back far beyond the beginning of civili- 
zation, and trace the growth and meaning of sex in the lower forms of 
life. In so doing I shall ask attention to several propositions which 
may not at first appear to have any bearing upon our subject, or any 
very close relation to each other. I shall then try to show what this 
relation is, and point out its bearing upon the education of women. 

Every organism which is born from an egg or seed is a resultant 
of the two systems of- laws or conditions, which may be spoken of ab- 
stractly as the law of heredity, and the law of variation, or, to use the 
old teleological terms, each organism is a mean between the principle 
of adherence to type and the principle of adaptation to conditions. 

That like produces like is universally but never absolutely true. 
The offspring resembles its parents in all fundamental characteristics. 
The human child, for instance, resembles its parents in the possession 
of all the characteristics which distinguish living things from not 
living, as well as those which distinguish animals from plants. The 
chemical, physical, and physiological changes which take place in its 
body and the histological structure of its tissues are like those of its 
parents, and its various organs are the same in form and function. 
All the characteristics which unite it with the other vertebrates, as a 
member of the sub-kingdom Vertebrata, are like those of its parents, 
and also those which place it in the class Mammalia, and in its proper 
order, family, genus, and species. It also shares with its parents the 
features or race characteristics of the particular tribe or race to which 
they belong. If they are Chinese, Indians, or negroes, the child be- 
longs to the same race, and manifests all the slight, superficial pecu- 
liarities of form, constitution, and character by which that race is 
characterized. Even the individual peculiarities of the parents, intel- 
lectual and moral as well as physical, are now known to be hereditary. 
Since this holds true of any other animal or plant, we must recognize 
the universality of the law of heredity, but we must not overlook 
the equally well-established fact that each organism is the resultant 
of this law and another, the law of variation. The child is like its 
parents, but not exactly like them. It is not even a compound of 
characteristics found in one or the other of them, but has individual 
peculiarities of its own ; slight variations which may not have ex- 
isted in either parent, or in any more remote ancestor. The slight 


individual differences are so overshadowed by the much more con- 
spicuous resemblances due to heredity with which they compare 
about as the green buds at the tips of the twigs of a large tree com- 
pare with the hard wood of the trunk and branches, the growth of 
previous years and they are so fluctuating and inconstant, that their 
importance may easily escape attention. Careful observation shows, 
however, that every characteristic may vary : those distinctive of the 
class or order as well as those which mark the species or variety. The 
variations may manifest themselves in the adult, or at any other 
period in the life of the individual. Even the eggs have individuali- 
ties of their own, and among many groups of animals the eggs of the 
same parent, when placed under precisely similar conditions, may 
differ in the rate and manner of development. Although most of 
these individual differences are transient, and disappear within a few 
generations, there can now be no doubt that those which tend to brino- 
the organism into more perfect harmony with its environment, and 
are therefore advantageous, may be established as hereditary features, 
through the action of the law of the survival of the fittest ; and it is 
hardly possible to over-estimate the value of the evidence which pale- 
ontology and embryology now furnish to prove that all hereditary 
characteristics, even the most fundamental, were originally individual 

The series of hereditary structures and fnnctions which makes up 
the life of an organism is constantly being extended by the addition 
of new features, which at first were individual variations, and are 
gradually built into the hereditary life history. In this way newly 
acquired peculiarities are gradually pushed further and further from 
what may be called the growing end of the series, by the addition of 
newer variations above them. It can also be shown that from time to 
time the peculiarities at the other end of the series, the oldest heredi- 
tary features, are crowded out of the life of the organism, and dropped, 
so that an animal which is hisrh in the scale of evolution does not re- 
peat, in its own development, all of the early steps through which its 
most remote ancestors have passed. The series of hereditary charac- 
teristics, thus growing at one end and fading away at the other, gradu- 
ally raises the organism to new and higher stages of specialization, and 
its evolution by variation and heredity may be compared with the 
growth of a glacier. 

The slight individual differences are represented by the new layers of 
snow added by the storms to the deposit which fills the valley in which 
the glacier arises. The snows which are soon blown away are those 
variations which, being of no use, soon disappear ; while the snow 
which remains in the valley, and is gradually converted into ice, repre- 
sents those individual differences which are seized upon by natural 
selection, and gradually rendered hereditary and constant. The long 
stream of ice stretching down to lower regions, and made up of the 


snows of thousands of winters, receiving new additions at its upper 
end, and at the same time melting away at its lower, is no bad repre- 
sentation of the long series of hereditary features, once variations, 
which form so large a part of every organism. If the glacier were not 
in motion, but stationary, so that the melting of the oldest portion 
and the additions to its upper end should gradually carry the body of 
ice up to higher and higher levels, we should have a very perfect paral- 
lel to the evolution of an organism by variation and heredity. 

The steps in this progress are embodied in a long series of individ- 
uals, each of which is, either immediately or indirectly, the product 
of a fertilized egg or seed, through which the laws of heredity and va- 
riation act, to bind the separate individuals into a progressive whole. 
The seeds and eggs with which we are most familiar are highly com- 
plicated, and consist of the protoplasmic germ, which is intimately 
united to a mass of food destined to be converted into protoplasm dur- 
ing development. 

The germ with its food forms the yolk of such an egg as that of 
the bird, and is surrounded by layers of albumen, which are also used 
as food, and by a complicated series of investing membranes. It ori- 
ginates in a special organ, the ovary, and is incapable of perfect devel- 
opment until it has been fertilized by the male reproductive element. 
In its earliest stage of growth it is simply one of the cells or histo- 
logical elements of the ovary, but as it grows it soon becomes very 
much larger than an ordinary cell, and its protoplasm becomes filled 
with food material, and the outer layers and walls are added to it. 
In many animals, the external envelopes are wanting, and the egg is 
simply a very large ovarian cell, filled with food material, and capable 
of developing, under the influence of the male element, into a new or- 
ganism. In still other animals the food-yolk is wanting, and the egg is 
small, and does not differ from an ovarian cell ; and in still other ani- 
mals the ovaries are lacking, and cells may become sj)ecialized as ova 
in various parts of the body. 

The series is so complete that we may be certain that we are com- 
paring strictly homologous structures, and we may therefore conclude 
that the egg is nothing but one of the cells of the body, which may, 
when acted upon by the male element, develop into a neM organism, 
substantially like its parents, with some of the individual peculiarities 
of each of them, and also with new peculiarities of its own. 

From the necessity for impregnation in most cases, it has been 
assumed that the essential function of the male element is to quicken 
the germ, and thus start the process of development. It is true that it 
does have this function in many cases ; but comparative study shows 
that the egg itself is alive, and does not need quickening, and that 
this must be regarded as a secondary and derived function of the male 
element, not the essential and primitive function. 

That this is the case is shown by the fact that, while the earlier 


stages in the developmental process are sufficiently alike in different 
animals to admit of a comparison between them, the stage at which 
impregnation takes place is not fixed, but variable. In some cases the 
ovarian egg remains without change until it is impregnated ; and the 
first step in the developmental process, the disappearance of the ger- 
minative vesicle, is the immediate result of the union of the spermatozoa 
with the ovum. In other cases the germinative vesicle disappears, and 
the egg then remains inactive until it is impregnated ; and this is fol- 
lowed at once by segmentation. In still other cases segmentation takes 
place without impregnation. Other eggs develop still further ; and, 
finally, there are many animals whose unfertilized eggs not only com- 
mence, but complete the developmental process, and give rise to adults 
which may in turn produce young in the same way : and this may go 
on indefinitely, without the intervention of a male. The queen bee is 
able to lay fertilized or unfertilized eggs at will, and they are equally 
alive and capable of development. 

These facts show conclusively that the essential function of the 
male element is not the vitalization of the germ. 

Turning now to another aspect of our subject, we find that among 
plants, and among all the lower and simpler groups of animals, new 
individuals are produced by the various forms of asexual generation, 
as well as sexually. , In certain animals, such as the tunicates, this 
form of generation is highly specialized, and the stolon from which 
new individuals are budded off is a highly complex structure, which 
contains cells or tissues derived from all the essential organs and sys- 
tems of the parent, and from these the corresponding organs and sys- 
tems of the new individual are derived. As a rule, however, the 
process of budding is very simple : a mass of unspecialized cells at 
some definite point upon the body of the parent, animal or plant, be- 
coming converted into a new individual, instead of contributing to the 
further growth of the old. Among the lower animals, such as the 
hydroids and sponges, the process is still more simple, and cells may 
become converted into a bud at almost any point upon the body of the 
parent. That the process of reproduction by budding is not in any 
way absolutely distinguished from the process of ordinary growth by 
cell-multiplication, is shown by the fact that an accident may deter- 
mine which of these processes is to result from the activity of a given 

Comparison shows that there is, on the one hand, no essential dis- 
tinction between ordinary growth and reproduction by budding, and, 
on the other hand, none except the necessity for impregnation to dis- 
tinguish asexual from sexual reproduction. All these processes are 
fundamentally processes of cell-multiplication. As none of the ani- 
mals with which we are thoroughly familiar reproduce asexually, we 
are unable to make any very exact comparison -of the results of the 
two processes of reproduction in animals ; but among plants such com- 


parison can be made without difficulty, and will be found to show that 
variation is much more marked and common in plants raised from 
fertilized seed than in those raised by budding. A marked bud-varia- 
tion is of very rare occurrence, but in many cases the tendency of 
plants raised from seeds to differ from the parents is so great that 
choice varieties are propagated entirely by buds. It is almost hope- 
less to attempt to propagate a choice variety of grape or strawberry 
by seeds, as the individuals raised in this way seldom have the valua- 
ble qualities of their parents, and, although they may have new quali- 
ties of equal or greater value, the chances are of course greatly against 
this, since the possibility of undesirable variation is much greater than 
the chance of a desirable sport. There is no difficulty, however, in 
perpetuating valuable varieties of these plants by asexual reproduction. 

Putting together these various propositions that the evolution of 
life has been brought about through the combined action of the law of 
heredity and the law of variation ; that in all except the simplest or- 
ganisms the process of sexual reproduction by ova which have been 
acted upon by the male element is met with ; that the ovum is alive, 
and capable of development in itself, and that the essential function 
of the male element is something else than the vitalization of the 
ovum ; that the process of sexual reproduction differs from the process 
of asexual reproduction only in the occurrence of impregnation, while 
the result of the former process differs from the result of the latter in 
its greater variability we seem warranted in concluding that the 
ovum is the material medium through which the law of heredity mani- 
fests itself, while the male element is the vehicle by which new varia- 
tions are added. The ovum is the conservative, and the male element 
the progressive or variable factor in the process of evolution of the 
race as well as in the reproduction of the individual. The adequate 
statement of the evidence upon which this generalization rests, or 
even a full statement of the generalization itself, with its qualifications, 
would be out of place here, but the facts which have been given seem 
to be sufficient to warrant its use as one step in our argument in regard 
to the relations of the sexes. From this as our basis we will now 
trace the evolution of sex. 

Among the lowest organisms, animal and vegetable, multiplication 
is usually by the various forms of asexual generation, budding or 
fission, or cell-multiplication an organism which has by ordinary 
growth increased in size beyond the limit of exact harmony with its 
environment, dividing in this way into two, like each other as well as 
like their parent. In this way the preservation of the established 
characteristics of the species' heredity is provided for, but in order 
that progress should take place, by the preservation of favorable vari- 
eties, variation must also be provided for. This is accomplished by 
the process which is known as conjugation : two protoplasmic organ- 
isms approach, come into contact, and a transfusion or mixture of the 


semi-fluid contents of their bodies takes place. The result of this 
process is the production of new individuals which, deriving their pro- 
toplasm from two parents which are not exactly alike, are themselves 
different from either of them, and have individual peculiarities which 
are, it is true, the resultant of the peculiarities of the parents, but 
which are nevertheless new variations. 

In the simplest forms of conjugation the functions of both parents 
appear to be identical, but in organisms which are a little more spe- 
cialized we find male and female reproductive bodies, and the offspring 
is the result of the union of the male element of one individual with 
the female element of another ; that is, we have true sexual reproduc- 
tion in its simplest form. 

Among the lower animals and most plants both sexes are united 
in the same individual, but the law of physiological division of labor, 
the principle that an organ or organism, like a machine, can do some 
one thing better and with less expenditure of force when it is specially 
adapted to this one thing than when it is generally adapted for sev- 
eral functions, would lead to the preservation by natural selection of 
any variations in the direction of a separation of the sexes, and we 
should therefore expect to find among the higher animals what we 
actually do find : the restriction of the male function to certain' indi- 
viduals, and the restriction of the female function to others. From 
this time forward the male is an organism specialized for the produc- 
tion of the variable element in the reproductive process, and the 
female an organism specialized for the production of the conservative 
element. We soon meet with structural peculiarities adapted to aid 
and perfect the performance of these respective functions ; and the 
various organs, habits, and instincts by which, among the higher ani- 
mals, the rearing of young is provided for form one of the most inter- 
esting chapters of natural science. On a priori grounds we should 
expect a still greater specialization to make its appearance. Since the 
male organism has for its function the production of the variable re- 
productive element, and since variations which originate in a male 
have their perpetuation especially provided for, it would clearly be of 
advantage that the male organism should acquire a peculiar tendency 
to vary, and any steps in this direction would accordingly be seized 
upon by natural selection and perpetuated. The female organism, on 
the other hand, having for its function the transmission of the estab- 
lished hereditary features of the species, we should expect the female 
to gradually acquire a tendency to develop these general characteris- 
tics more perfectly than the male. The male organism would thus 
gradually become the variable organism, as well as the transmitter of 
variations, and the female organism would become the conservative 
organism, as well as the originator of the conservative element in re- 

The study of the higher forms of life shows that this specialization 


has actually taken place in many cases, and that, in nearly all cases in 
which the sexes differ in peculiarities not actually concerned in repro- 
duction, the male has varied more than the female. The amount of 
variation which any organism has lately undergone may be learned in 
two ways by a comparison of allied species, and by a comparison of 
the adult with the young. In a genus which comprises several species 
the characteristics which these species have in common are due to he- 
redity from a common ancestor, and are therefore older than features 
which are confined to any one species. Now, it is a well-known 
ornithological law that the females of allied species of birds are very 
much more alike than the males, and that in some cases where the 
females can hardly be distinguished the males are very conspicuously 
different so much so that there is not the least danger of confound- 
ing them. Countless examples will present themselves to anyone who 
is at all familiar with birds, and those who are not can at once find 
ample proof by glancing through any illustrated work on ornithology 
Gould's " Humming-Birds," for example. 

The greater variability of the male is also shown by a comparison 
of the adult male and female with the immature birds of both sexes. 
Since the growing animal tends to recapitulate, during its own devel- 
opment, the changes through which its ancestors have passed, substan- 
tially in the order in which they first appeared, it follows that, in cases 
where the sexes are unlike, the one which is most different from the 
young is the one which has varied. Now, it is only necessary to com- 
pare the nearly full-grown young of our domestic fowls with the adult 
cock and hen, to perceive that the adult hen agrees with the young of 
both sexes in lacking such male characteristics as the highly ornament- 
ed tail-feathers, the briliant plumage, the distended comb, the spurs, 
and the capacity to crow. Countless similar illustrations might be 
given to show the great tendency of the male to vary, but the above 
are sufficient for the purposes of our argument. As both sexes usually 
retain the more general specific and generic characteristics, and are 
alike as far as these are concerned, it is a little more difficult to show 
the conservative constitution of the female than it is to prove the male 
tendency to vary. Among the Barnacles there are a few species the 
males and females of which differ remarkably. The female is an 
ordinary barnacle, with all the peculiarities of the group fully devel- 
oped, while the male is a small parasite upon the body of the female, 
and is so different from the female of its own species, and from all 
ordinary barnacles, that no one would ever recognize, in the adult 
male, any affinity whatever to its closest allies. All of the hereditary 
race characteristics are wanting : the limbs, digestive organs, and 
most of the muscles and nerves have disappeared, as they are not 
needed by a parasitic animal ; and the male is little more than a re- 
productive organ attached to the body of the female. It is only when 
the development of the male is studied that we obtain any proof of its 


specific identity with the female. The young of hoth sexes are alike, 
and the developing male shares with the female the characteristics 
which unite them to the other barnacles, and which are due to descent 
from a common form. The female keeps these hereditary character- 
istics through life, while the male soon loses them entirely. 

These facts seem to be sufficient to prove that the specialization 
which we should expect to find among the higher animals with sepa- 
rate sexes does exist, and that the male organism is especially and 
peculiarly variable, and the female organism especially and peculiarly 

Leaving this aspect of our subject for the present, let us look at it 
from a somewhat different point of view. The history of the evolu- 
tion of life has not only an objective side, but something which may 
with perfect propriety be spoken of as a subjective aspect. The prog- 
ress which is shown objectively as greater and greater specialization of 
structure, and a closer and closer adaptation of the organism to the 
conditions of the external world, has been well described by Herbert 
Spencer, as the increasing delicacy, exactness, and scope of the adjust- 
ment between internal and external relations. Seen in its subjective 
aspect, each of the steps in the growth of this adjustment is a recog- 
nition of a scientific law, the perception of the permanency of a rela- 
tion between external phenomena ; for science is simply the recogni- 
tion of the order of nature. 

When a Rhizopod discriminates between the contact of a large 
body and that of a small one, and draws in its pseudopodia and 
shrinks into as compact a shape as possible in order to escape the 
danger which the past experience of the race has shown to be related 
to the former sensation, or Avhen it expands its pseudopodia in order to 
ingulf and digest the body which has caused the second sensation, it 
furnishes proof that its scientific education has begun. Of course I do 
not intend to say that the order of nature, according to which the 
Rhizopod adjusts its actions, is consciously apprehended, but simply 
that it is the experience of the existence of this order which deter- 
mines the action. Throughout the whole course of the evolution of 
one of the higher organisms each variation which served to bring 
about a closer harmony between the organism and its environment, 
and was accordingly preserved by natural selection, and added on to 
the series of hereditary structures and functions, was in its subjective 
aspect the experience of a new external connection, a new step in the 
recognition of natural law, an advance in scientific knowledge. Hu- 
man advancement is of course widely different from the slow progress 
of the lower forms of life, but it is fundamentally the same. Experi- 
ence is continually spreading over new fields, and bringing about a 
more wide and exact recognition of the persistent relations of the ex- 
ternal world. The scientific laws thus recognized then gradually take 
the shape of principles or laws of conduct, according to which actions 


are determined in those cases where experience has shown that they 
apply. Those laws of conduct which have been long recognized 
gradually assume the shape of habits or intuitions, according to which 
conduct is almost unconsciously regulated, and the habits finally be- 
come established as one of the hereditary characteristics of the race. 

We are apt to confine our attention to the subjective side of hu- 
man advancement, and to neglect the structural side, and at the same 
time to neglect the subjective side of the evolution of the lower forms 
of life, and to confine our attention to the structural side, but of 
course no one can doubt that a new habit is represented by a new spe- ' 
cialization of structure, and is transmitted like any other peculiarity 
by heredity. 

If this is so, and if the female organism is the conservative organ- 
ism, to which is intrusted the keeping of all that has been gained 
during the past history of the race, it must follow that the female 
mind is a storehouse filled with the instincts, habits, intuitions, and 
laws of conduct which have been gained by past experience. The 
male organism, on the contrary, being the variable organism, the origi- 
nating element in the process of evolution, the male mind must have 
the power of extending experience over new fields, and, by comparison 
and generalization, of discovering new laws of nature, which are in 
their turn to become rules of action, and to be added on to the series 
of past experiences. 

Our examination of the origin and significance of the physiological 
differences between the sexes, and of the parts which they have taken 
in the progress of the past, would therefore lead us to expect certain 
profound and fundamental psychological differences, having the same 
importance ; and it will be interesting to examine what these intellec- 
tual and ethical differences are, and how far experience and the com- 
mon consent of mankind accord with the demands of our hypothesis. 

If, as we suppose, the especial and peculiar function of the male 
mind is the expansion of our circle of experience ; the more exact ap- 
prehension of all our relations to the external world ; the discovery of 
the laws of thought, of society, of physiology, and of the material uni- 
verse, and of the bearing of these laws upon individual conduct it 
will follow that men must excel women in their power to discover the 
manner in Avhich a new external relation shall be met and provided 
for by a new internal adjustment. In a case where our instincts, in- 
tuitions, feelings, or past experiences furnish no guide to conduct, the 
judgment of a man as to the proper course of action will be of more 
value than the judgment of a woman. 

On the other hand, only a very small proportion of our actions are 
directed to new conditions ; experience has already determined the 
proper conduct in all the circumstances upon which our preservation 
and well-being most directly depend ; and action in these circum- 
stances does not demand comparison and judgment, while it must usu- 


ally be so prompt as to forbid deliberation or thought. The power of 
quick and proper action in the innumerable exigencies of ordinary life, 
independent of reflection, is at least equally important with the power 
to extend our field of rational action. 

By the former power we hold on to what has already been gained, 
while the latter power enables us to increase our advantage in the 
struggle for existence, and to widen our control over the laws of na- 
ture. Psychological variation is the result of the latter power, psy- 
chological heredity the result of the former, and psychological evolu- 
tion and human progress the result of their combined action. 

If the female mind is especially rich in the fruit of this past ex- 
perience, we should expect women to excel men in the promptness 
and accuracy with which the conduct of ordinary life is decided, and 
in the range of circumstances over which this power of rational action 
without reflection extends ; that is, we should expect men to excel in 
judgment, women in common sense. 

This important and fundamental difference between the male in- 
tellect and the female must have a very great influence in determining 
the occupations or professions in which each sex is most likely to suc- 
ceed when brought into fair competition with the other sex. 

The originating or progressive power of the male mind is shown 
in its highest forms by the ability to pursue original trains of abstract 
thought, to reach the great generalizations of science, and to give rise 
to the new creations of poetry and art. The capacity for work of this 
character is of course very exceptional among men ; and, although 
history shows that it is almost exclusively confined to men, it must 
not enter into our conception of the ordinary male mind. The same 
power of originating and of generalizing from new experiences is 
possessed, in a lesser degree, however, by ordinary men, and gives them 
an especial fitness for and an advantage over women in those trades, 
professions, and occupations where competition is closest, and where 
marked success depends upon the union of the knowledge and skill, 
shared by competitors, to the inventiveness or originality necessary 
to gain the advantage over them. 

Women, on the other hand, would seem to be better fitted for those 
occupations where ready tact and versatility are of more importance 
than the narrow technical skill which comes from apprenticeship or 
training, and where success does not involve competition with rivals. 

The adequate examination of this aspect of our subject would 
furnish material for a treatise, and it is out of place here, as all that is 
necessary for the purposes of our argument at present is to point out 
the difference, and to show that it is the necessary consequence of our 
view of the manner in AvhicK sex has been evolved : that it is not due 
to the subjection of one sex by the other, but is the means by which 
the progress of the race is to be accomplished. 

[ To be concluded next month.) 




EVERY one knows that what is called & first meridian is the circle 
from which we start in reckoning longitudes. It were better to 
call it an initial meridian, or zero meridian, for the first meridian is 
not in reality this one, but the first we meet in longitude starting from 
zero, i. e., at sixty minutes from this starting-point. "We should prefer 
to adopt the term mediator, as proposed by M. Bouthillier de Beaumont, 
it being analogous to the term equator, which is the starting-point in 
reckoning latitudes. 

This matter of a first meridian gives rise to very grave complica- 
tions. Each nation wants to have its own meridian passing through 
its capital city, or its principal observatory. Hence result numerous 
difficulties, errors, even dangers and accidents to ships, in case we are 
not sure about the meridian employed, or if we are in error in our 
reckoning of the difference between one meridian and another. 

The geographical knowledge of the ancients extended on the 
west only as far as the Canary Islands. From here, or hereabout, 
Ptolemy started in reckoning longitudes, going eastward to the limit 
of the countries then knowm. This western limit of his geographical 
knowledge he reckoned to be 60 west of Alexandria a calculation 
which would place the starting-point a little to the west of the Canaries. 
According to Ptolemy's geography, Paris is in longitude 23^, and 
hence the starting-point could not be the most westerly isle of the 
Canary group, as has usually been supposed, but farther to the west. 
Nevertheless, to do away with all uncertainty,- an ordinance of Louis 
XIII., in 1634, declared that French geographers must start from the 
isle of Ferro. But what was the precise situation of this isle ? It 
was at first held to be 23 from Paris, and this erroneous calculation 
has given rise to strange variations in the position of the first meridian 
in a great number of maps. 

In 1682 the observations of Varin and of Deshayes gave the longi- 
tude of Ferro as 20 5' west of Paris, and' thenceforward the round 
number of 20 was taken to be the distance between these two merid- 
ians. Still many geographers, among them Delisle himself, who had 
been one of the first to make known the precise longitude of Ferro, 
continued to reckon the distance at 23^, after Ptolemy. Sometimes 
they corrected this reckoning, reducing it to 22^, or even to 20^-. In 
1711, in a map of the lie de France (Mauritius), Delisle places Paris in 
longitude 20 exactly, but the same geographer by a very strange anom- 
aly, in a map bearing date 1717, adopts the figure 22 30'. In fact, it 

* Translated from " La Nature," by J. Fitzgerald, A. M. 



was not till the middle of the eighteenth century that, chiefly through 
the influence of D'Anville and the Cassinis, the precise difference of 20 
was definitively adopted. The well-earned fame of the French geog- 
raphers gave to their determination authority throughout Europe, and 

all the nations accepted this distance and the meridian of Ferro, ex- 
cept England, which fixed her first meridian at St. Paul's in London, 
and later at Greenwich. In France the meridian of Paris came to be 
reckoned as first meridian from the publication of Cassini's map. The 


first important maps, besides Cassini's, which adopted the Paris merid- 
ian were that of Capitaine (1789), and that of De Belleyme (1791). 

This over-patriotic selection by the English and French was a bad 
precedent. The Low Countries must have their meridian at Amster- 
dam, the Spaniards at Madrid (having previously tried Teneriffe and 
Cadiz), the Portuguese at Lisbon, the Russians at the Poulkowa Obser- 
vatory, the United Sates at the Washington Observatory, the Chilians 
at Santiago, the Brazilians at Rio de Janeiro, and so on. 

These divers pretensions are deplorable, and cause no end of confu- 
sion, and it is time that a single meridian were established. M. de Chan- 
courtois, in his " System of Geography," which was presented to the 
Paris Geographical Society in 1874, proposed to adopt the meridian of 
the island of St. Michael, in the Azores, which he holds to have been 
Ptolemy's first meridian ; which was the meridian adopted by Mer- 
cator ; and which to him appears to be preferable to all other meridi- 
ans because it traverses the ocean throughout one-half of its length, 
and in the other half only touches the eastern extremity of Asia, thus 
constituting a sufficiently exact dividing line between the two main 
continents, the old and the new. The late M. Henri Longperier pro- 
posed a meridian traversing the center of Europe, crossing Dalmatia 
and the Adriatic, and pretty accurately dividing the Eastern from the 
Western world. 

Again, it has been proposed to establish the first meridian at Jeru- 
salem, that center of high and honored memories ; but perhaps, just on 
account of the religious associations, such a selection would not be ap- 
proved by all nations. For our own part, we confess that we are par- 
tisans of the jjroject offered by M. Bouthillier de Beaumont, President 
of the Geneva Geographical Society to the International Congress of 
Commercial Geography at Paris in 1878. This learned geographer pro- 
poses the selection of the meridian passing through Behring Strait on 
the one side of the globe, and 10 east of Paris on the other. It 
would on the one hand separate the two great continents, and on the 
other would in Europe follow the line of demarkation between the 
"Eastern" and the "Western" nations. 

We highly approve this idea of fixing the first meridian exactly 
10 east of Paris : the conversion of determinations of longitude reck- 
oned from Paris and Ferro which are very numerous would be thus 
facilitated. This meridian would pass through Venice and would be 
very near to Rome, both places dear to the historian and of profound 
interest to the geographer. Nevertheless, we must not take for the 
starting-point a place belonging to any particular state, for fear of ex- 
citing again those national rivalries which have led to the fixing of 
such a number of national meridians. But the mediator which we 
propose, in unison with M. Bouthillier de Beaumont, passes also through 
the island of Levanzo, off the west coast of Sicily. Might not the Ital- 
ian Government cede this islet to the world of science, to form the site 


of a central and international observatory '? The place might be the 
common property of all the civilized nations which might agree to its 
acquisition ; for, we repeat, it must be neutral ground, a position inde- 
pendent of all political power, and under guarantee of all the states of 
the civilized world. The 180th degree would traverse Cape Prince of 
Wales, where it projects into Behring Strait, and this and the island 
of Unalashka in the Aleutian Archipelago are the only points where it 
would touch land. The United States, following the example of Italy, 
might cede to the republic of science this cape or a part of Unalashka, 
to be the site of an observatory in correlation with that of Levanzo. 






PHYSICS is a comprehensive term for the laws of the physical 
universe, and is gradually superseding the old term natural phi- 
losophy which held together in a disconnected manner various facts in 
mechanics, light, heat, sound, electricity, and magnetism. Under the 
head of Natural Philosophy most of us were taught that a body fall- 
ing from the vertex of an inclined plane acquires the same velocity 
as it would if it rolled down the plane. A considerable knowledge 
of mathematics was required to prove this fact, and the youthful 
mind could hardly see the bearing of it when it was demonstrated. 
We were shown what we learned to call the falling machine of At- 
wood, which proved simple laws with such ponderousness of structure 
and complexity of appliances that even the name of the machine made 
more impression upon the memory than the laws of which it was the 
servant. The brightest boys could prove that the square of the ve- 
locity of a falling body was equal to twice the acceleration of gravity 
multiplied by the height through which it had fallen, and the rest of 
us mutely followed the rule, and substituted in a formula which was 
forgotten as soon as the exigencies of school life were over. We also 
carried away vague recollections of a pump which worked by means 
of a curiously constructed valve. We had forgotten whether the cen- 
ter of gravity is where the center of pressure is applied, or where 
specific gravity exerts itself. We remembered a tuning-fork, an elec- 
trical machine, and a big electro-magnet which lifted the smallest boy 
in school, and that was all that we remembered of natural philosophy. 
At that very age most of us, if not all, were curious about air and 
water, the motions of the earth and the moon, the light of the stars, 


the curious manifestations of frost, fire, and electricity and magnetism. 
I remember how glibly we recited portions of natural philosophy where 
the author forgot his grim mood for a moment, his triangles and 
square roots, and explained in a simple manner why the rising moon 
appeared so large between the small branches of a wood, and why fog 
came up the bay when the sun went down. When we succeeded in 
getting the right answer to a problem we were elated and began to 
think that natural philosophy was not so difficult to study, after all ; 
but these moods of elation were too often succeeded by those of black- 
est night and incendiary desires. In looking back, the thought comes 
to us that there must have been something radically wrong in such 
teaching ; for the subject of the laws of the physical universe has 
such infinite possibilities and contains so much that can stimulate the 
imagination of even young children, that any method which represses, 
or does not encourage a child's desire to know the reason of things, 
must be radically wrong. 

It must not be supposed, however, that the picture we have pre- 
sented has not its bright side : there are always teachers who are espe- 
cially interested in physical science, and who excite an interest in the 
subject among their pupils. The hour of the lecture on physics is 
looked forward to by the pupils of some schools with great relish, and 
some date their interest from the school exercises in this branch. 
Generally speaking, however, most men who have more than the ordi- 
nary knowledge of science have had their enthusiasm awakened out of 
school, and by actually working with apparatus, or handling speci- 
mens, have taught themselves. 

The opponents of the study of physics in the secondary schools 
generally regard it as of less importance than the mathematical or 
grammatical studies, and class it among what they regard as superflu- 
ous subjects, the number of which has very much increased of late 
years. Not a few of these remember the manner in which they were 
taught, and have no desire that their children should repeat their 
experience. It is very natural also that the teacher whose training has 
been exclusively literary should be indisposed to teach a subject like 
physics, which requires a certain facility with apparatus and some 
inventiveness which a purely literary training has the effect of obscur- 
ing and even crushing out. Who has not seen an excellent teacher in 
the languages or even in mathematics fail completely before a class of 
boys and girls in showing some simple experiment ? It is very natural 
that he should fail, for this facility and inventiveness of which we have 
spoken come, except to the few, only by practice and from an early 
habit of observation. More time also is consumed in getting ready 
for one lecture or exercise in physics than in six recitations in the 
straightforward subjects of language and mathematics. A refractory 
piece of brass, a wire wanting here and there, a shrunken bit of blad- 
der, a broken glass tube, may involve hours' labor for one who is gen- 


erally hard-worked in other ways. It is easy to theorize on the subject 
of teaching science, especially physical science, in the second grade of 
schools, but one should not forget the wearing nature of routine work 
which is apt to deaden one's enthusiasm. One can not expect a teacher 
to hold weekly talks with his pupils on force, or to rely upon treatises 
which are merely descriptive, or to be patient with apparatus which, 
by frequent use, seems almost puerile, without giving him also a com- 
paratively rigid standard in the shape of a book by which he can ad- 
vance in a more or less mechanical manner. Many teachers, therefore, 
comply with the letter of the law, and with one of the many text-books 
called Natural Philosophy shorten the popular exposition of the subject 
to a minimum and demand a certain number of problems under the 
lever, the screw, the inclined plane, and the pendulum. This mechani- 
cal teaching succeeds to a certain extent with the bright boys of some 
methematical tendencies ; but it fails with the great majority, who 
speedily get a disgust for the whole subject. To add to the teachers' 
difficulties, many of them have not a sufficient knowledge of the sub- 
ject to enable them to courageously reject the descriptions of machines 
with which many text-books are filled, in which the principles are lost 
sight of in a multiplicity of levers, pulleys, and connecting pieces. 

In teaching a language or a branch of mathematics in a grammar 
school, one has all his materials ready at hand, a certain author, a 
certain dictionary, a grammar. In teaching physical science, almost 
every text-book requires to be supplemented by some apparatus 
which is not provided with the text-book, and contrivances must be 
resorted to, and judgment must be used in regard to aids in teach- 
ing upon which experience seems to be very indefinite. There are 
wide limits in regard to the cost of this or that piece of apparatus, and 
difficulties in deciding between instrument-makers. Very often there 
is no one available to repair an instrument, and the instruction has an 
added tendency to become mechanical. 

On the other hand, there are enthusiastic teachers who are imbued 
with the modern popular method of teaching physics by the aid of a 
lime-light stereopticon. Small appropriations are saved until an ex- 
pensive instrument can be obtained ; and what may be called a college 
course in physics is inaugurated in the second grade of schools. It is 
a laudable ambition to desire to illustrate the subject of physics by 
the method of projections ; but the policy of expending from one to 
two hundred dollars for a lime-light for the use of a grammar or even 
a high school is questionable. 

Professor Mayer, in his excellent little books on the experimental 
study of light and sound, shows how a water lantern can be con- 
structed for three dollars, which answers every purpose ; and if there 
is no sunlight one of the many forms of kerosene lanterns is admira- 
ble for showing diagrams, the deflections of a galvanometer, crystalli- 
zations, and minute experiments which a class could not otherwise see 

TOL. XT. 11 


to advantage. With the aid of such a cheap method of projection, a 
grammar school master can give quite an extended course in physics 
with simple apparatus. He can draw his own diagrams on smoked 
glass, fixing the drawing by exposing it to the vapor of alcohol, which 
is evaporated from a shallow dish ; and for the money which is ex- 
pended for a lime-light apparatus enough apparatus can be bought 
which, supplemented by a water or a kerosene lantern, would illustrate 
a full course of elementary lectures on physics. In many school col- 
lections of apparatus, a few expensive instruments will be found : an 
air-pump ; a Holtz electrical machine ; a large induction coil. One 
or two of such instruments form the rallying point of the department 
of physics, and are accompanied by meager and disjointed apparatus. 
The student collects, so to speak, his thoughts about the picture of a 
complicated machine ; his ideas of the pressure of gases or rarefied air 
are complicated by the imperfect remembrance of certain valves. Elec- 
tricity of high tension means something evoked by an electrical ma- 
chine. These pieces of apparatus which I have mentioned form a 
salient point of attack upon the system of instruction in physics too 
common in many schools. A good air-pump is difficult to keep in 
order, and finds its true place only in the private laboratory of an in- 
vestigator, or in a college collection of apparatus. In the secondary 
grade of schools some form of Sprengel's pump, or, where there is an 
available head of water, an aspirator, will illustrate varying pressures 
sufficiently well. The new Holtz machine which schools are anxious 
to possess can only serve as a toy, for the theory of its working is 
very hard to comprehend even by those who have studied the subject 
in mature years. 

The modern view of the physical universe is that there is no such 
state as rest : the particles of a gas are in an incessant state of motion, 
and it can be maintained that when a stone rests upon a table it is not 
at rest ; for it is forced downward by the action of gravitation through 
a very small distance, and the elasticity of its support tends to move 
it upward through the same distance. The term statics is apt to be 
misleading, and the best- writers on science of to-day begin treatises 
on natural philosophy with the subject of dynamics or forces in mo- 
tion. In no subject, however, is the division into statics and dynamics 
so illogical as in the subject of electricity. In most schools a stu- 
dent begins the study of this subject with frictional electricity and 
the electrical machine. An advanced student in a university pursues 
the opposite plan, and approaches the subject, even if it be for the 
first time, from the standpoint of the voltaic cell, and traces the devel- 
opment of the force up to the point of the generation of electricity 
similar to that produced by an electrical machine. Very little knowl- 
edge can be obtained from the exhibition of toys like dancing pith- 
balls, insulated stools, miser's plates, and apparatus for obtaining 


The method of instruction in physical science, therefore, in the 
secondary grades of schools, seems to me to be too costly and not 
sufficiently logical. The remedy does not consist in curtailing the 
amount of attention paid to the subject in the lower schools, or in 
relegating it to a more advanced period of education. It is more rea- 
sonably embraced in leading teachers to seek simpler methods of in- 
struction, simpler apparatus, and to avoid abstruse conceptions, and 
the solution of mechanical problems for which mere formulas are 
given. It would be well, also, if the best students are led to experi- 
ment themselves, and are stimulated to observe. This is hardly pos- 
sible in crowded grammar schools ; but the excellent little treatises of 
Professor Mayer on experimental physics would lead many children, 
under proper encouragement from their teachers, to try simple experi- 
ments at home. 

An ideal method of teaching physics in the secondary grade of 
schools would consist in developing the whole subject from the stand- 
point of motion, insisting upon the larger facts, correlating them as 
far as possible, and neglecting special applications and special facts. 
A number of interesting experiments can show that work must be done 
in all cases to produce work, and that motion can be changed into heat, 
and heat into motion. The student's mind should be tempted to take, 
at the very beginning of his study of the subject, an extended view of 
the application of the law of the conservation of energy. "While treat- 
ing the subject of force, a little descriptive astronomy can be given 
which will aid in stimulating the imagination. The subjects of heat 
and acoustics can be taught purely under the head of mechanics, with 
a variety of most interesting and simple experiments. I am inclined 
to place the subject of electricity and magnetism under the same head ; 
and, beginning with the fact that electricity is generated by a voltaic 
cell, I should trace its simple manifestations until they conduct one to 
the law that all motion can be converted into electricity, and that elec- 
tricity can be entirely converted again into heat and light. Having 
then shown that light can be produced by motion, the undulatory the- 
ory can be cautiously introduced. As a review of the subject of phys- 
ics, one could take as a text the impossibility of perpetual motion, and 
enforce it with a variety of illustrations. The utility of the study of 
physics in the grammar schools is often questioned, and indeed the 
larger question of the value of scientific training except to the few in 
the world at large is often mooted. There is no doubt that the study 
of the humanities, in which the great story of men's deeds in the past 
is recorded, will always prove the most fascinating to the majority ; 
and it can be maintained with reason that those subjects which readily 
excite an interest in the largest number will prove the readiest means 
of intellectual training. Science is regarded by many scholars merely 
as a practical branch of human knowledge, and, although its great 
value in contributing to the good of the world is acknowledged, yet 


its study is regarded as inferior in intellectual results to that of lan- 
guage or philosophy. It can not be denied, however, that the study 
of physical science gives a certain definiteness to our modes of think- 
ing, even if it will not be granted that it affords a better method of 
intellectual training than philological study. It supplies a tonic which 
minds much accustomed, from the exclusive study of language, to 
take things for granted and to look no further than the grammar and 
dictionary stand much in need of, and also corrects a certain credu- 
lity and superstition which is rampant, even in our time, and to which 
it is well to devote a few words in connection with the subject of 
scientific training. There is a strong undercurrent of superstition 
and belief in supersensible or wonderful and not-to-be-explained mar- 
vels which makes its way beneath the crust of society. Occasionally 
it bursts forth in so-called manifestations of spiritualism and animal 
magnetism, or belief in mesmerism and clairvoyance. There is hardly 
a family of which some member has not applied to a clairvoyant for 
relief in diseases which the regular practitioner has failed to treat 
successfully. A literary education does not cope successfully with 
the insidious advances of this form of ignorance ; for the very ele- 
ment of education which can do so is not generally cultivated among 
even so-called liberally educated persons. This lost element is the 
spirit of investigation. The students who come to a physical labora- 
tory for the first time can be rapidly classified into three classes : 1. 
Those who can reason from A to B over what may be termed a 
straight line with considerable ease. 2. Those who naturally reverse 
their process of reasoning and test the way from B to A; this is a 
rarer class of minds. Copernicus was unable to explain the motions 
of the planets by supposing that all the visible stars revolved around 
the earth ; he reversed his process of reasoning, and explained the 
facts by supposing the earth to turn and the stars to remain at rest. 
Kant, in his " Critique of Pure Reason," speaks of the revolution which 
he had brought about in philosophy, and likens it to the logical process 
which led Copernicus to his discovery. "Hitherto," he says, "it had 
been assumed that all our knowledge must regulate itself according to 
the objects ; but all attempts to make anything out of them a priori, 
through notions whereby our knowledge might be enlarged, proved, 
under this supposition, abortive. Let us, then, try for once whether 
we do not succeed better with the problems of metaphysics, by assum- 
ing that the objects must regulate themselves according to our knowl- 
edge, a mode of viewing the subject which accords so much better with 
the desired possibility of a knowledge of them a priori, which must 
decide something concerning objects before they are given us." In 
practical matters this process of reversals is often exemplified ; the 
inventor of the sewing-machine finds that his needle will not work with 
the eye at one end, and accordingly reverses its position and is suc- 
cessful. 3. The third class comprises those who may be said to think 


in directions at right angles to their previous method of thinking, 
and there may be minds which possess what is analogous to the 4th 
dimension in space an ability to think in all azimuths. It is strange 
that there are so few psychological impostors in the world ; for the first 
class of minds, those who only think from A to B when a new class of 
facts are presented to them, is very large. An ingenious man can 
make a small magnetic motor which apparently runs with only the as- 
sistance of permanent magnets, and by means of extremely small clock- 
work maintain the motion beyond the period which a mind of class 1 
is willing to give to an observation. It would naturally occur to such 
a mind to take the motor to pieces and examine the casings or box. 
If it finds nothing, and perceives that, when the apparatus is put to- 
gether and is placed by the inventor on his table, it still runs, the 
investigation ceases, and another story confirms the previous rumor of 
a new marvel. A mind of class 2 goes over the same process of rea- 
soning, and moves the instrument to different points for fear of con- 
cealed mechanism under the table or in the wall. A skillful manipu- 
lator, however, can still edge the motor to a third or fourth position, 
where other concealed clockwork can be taken advantage of, and in 
this way exhaust the number of what may be termed linear combina- 
tions of the investigator. The success of impostors in spiritualism and 
of the fabricators of new motors which are built to delude people 
resides in this, that they restrict the liberty of this system of reversals, 
or the spirit of investigation. 

Any plan of education which prevents a man or woman from be- 
coming the dupe of those who pretend to use natural or supernatural 
forces is to be commended. One of the quickest ways of training the 
mind in the logical process which I have indicated is to undertake 
some simple investigation in physics. Here mere observation is com- 
bined with a careful study of the interaction of various forces, and the 
mind must assign a logical weight to different observations. One truth, 
moreover, is forcibly brought forward that, generally speaking, a num- 
ber of observations under varying conditions must be made to prove 
the correctness of any result. The man who has been through the 
process will not be found among those who are convinced by a single 
manifestation of clairvoyance or of spiritualism. He will not spread 
the stories of a wonderful new motor until he has put it to an exhaus- 
tive test. 

It would be well if our common schools made some provision for a 
certain amount of experimental work in physics to illustrate this 
method of studying. A great deal of education is comprised in the 
knowledge of how to change the conditions of an experiment in the 
process which I have termed a reversal, and also in the process of de- 
pending only upon a number of observations taken under different 
conditions. It would certainly be a great boon to the world if the 
general level of scientific education could thus be raised, so that each 


young man or young woman, when he or she issues from school doors, 
should have enough definite knowledge of the great laws of the physi- 
cal universe to instantly denounce blue-glass theories and attempts at 
perpetual motion, not from the pride of knowledge, but from the feel- 
ing that error, credulity, and superstition should be combated with 




THE innovations made by science upon other modes of thought 
and study within the last half century are without a parallel in 
the history of human progress. It has swept away many of our most 
cherished convictions, hoary with the dust of ages, and left others in 
their places entirely irreconcilable with them. Marching on with the 
might and majesty of a conqueror, it has spread dismay in the ranks 
of opposing forces, and caused a complete abdication in its favor of 
many of those who were most hostile to it. Nor has it taken the field 
in an aggressive or bellicose spirit. On the contrary, . almost all its 
conquests have been made without any design of inspiring opposition 
or terror, and while engaged in pursuits that of all others require for 
their prosecution the most pacific and philosophic temper. 

It might be easily shown by the comparison, were this essential to 
my design, that in the three great departments of human study, 
namely, those of science, religion, and literature, the cultivators of 
science have always shown a disposition to be more tolerant of opposi- 
tion and more lenient toward their enemies than those engaged in 
either of the other pursuits. It might be shown that religious contro- 
versies, and the animosities engendered by them, hold the first rank in 
the scale of bitterness. Next come those of a literary nature, which, 
in the last century, were scarcely less implacable ; while, with few ex- 
ceptions, the great problems that have engaged the attention of scien- 
tists have been singularly free from heated and acrimonious discus- 

Much of this serene treatment of scientific subjects is due, no 
doubt, to their peculiar nature. In a given investigation the truth 
must, sooner or later, come to the light. Either the investigation will 
have to be abandoned altogether, because it is found to be beyond the 
province of the human understanding, or the problem will eventually 
be solved. In either event, long-continued doubt and uncertainty can 
not hang over the result. Hence few will venture, if so disposed, to 
cast ridicule upon efforts which may be crowned with success, and 
which may in the end expose the scoffers to similar reproaches. 


Besides, the study of science, which is the study of nature, engages 
the mind in the study and contemplation of truth ; and, as has been 
well said, " Truth is without passion." The little asperities, therefore, 
which ruffle other controversial natures, find scarcely any lodgment in 
the breast of him who searches after experimental truth. And such 
would be the effect produced upon the students of theology and lit- 
erature were their conclusions capable of verification like those of 
the scientist. But, dealing for the most part with abstract subjects 
which in the nature of things can not be subjected to rigid mathemati- 
cal tests, they find themselves afloat upon a wide sea of conjecture, in 
which faith and imagination are almost the only guides. 

At this triumphant entry and career of Science upon the stage of 
modern thought, Religion is the only power that has as yet sounded 
the note of alarm, or assumed any very hostile attitude. Nor could 
she well do otherwise, because, one by one, she has seen her adherents 
falling away from her, and joining the ranks of her ostensible adver- 
sary, and, one by one, she has seen some of the fairest portions of her 
territory invaded, and either falling a prey to anarchy and dissolution, 
or rudely wrested from her. In vain she has cried out for help, or 
tried to throw up barriers against this invasion. The sapping and 
mining process has nevertheless gone on ; so that, if in the next half 
century the progress of science shall make as great inroads upon the 
prevailing popular belief as it has made within the last, it is safe 
to predict that only a moiety of it will be left, or, what is more prob- 
able, it will be changed into something more consonant with the 
new scientific discoveries, and with what is called " the spirit of the 


If the changes thus following in the wake of physical discovery 
have been so marked and significant upon one of the interesting 
branches of human knowledge to which allusion has been made, how 
has it fared with the other, which, if not so widespread in its influ- 
ences, can not nevertheless be affected in its character or career with- 
out producing results of the greatest consequence ? Has literature as 
well as religion felt the wand of the mighty magician ? and is it likely, 
in the future, to be retarded in its growth, crippled in its strength, or 
to any extent diverted from its purpose by this onward and sweeping 
march of science ? These are questions of so much importance that 
the candid consideration of them can not be without its interest if not 
without its profit. 

The commonwealth of literature embraces many states and distinct 
divisions, of which only those are particularly referred to in these 
pages that are usually comprehended under the title of polite or ele- 
gant literature, including works of the imagination, such as poetry 
and fiction, as well as authentic narratives, set off, as in history, with 
the graces of polished composition. Limited to even this description, 
literature has performed such an important part in administering to 


the instruction and delight of the world, that we could not afford to 
see it banished, even though a more efficient teacher should occupy its 
place. Nor can such a fate now in reality overtake it. Even should 
the number of its votaries ever be diminished, or should it ever fall 
into hands too feeble to sustain it, we would still have access to the 
ancient well-springs of its power, whose waters, though incapable of 
extension, can yet never run dry. It is a consolation to know that, 
though it may be impossible to add anything of sterling value to what 
has already been written, the great works of literary genius, treasured 
up in so many different languages, can never be taken away from us, 
and that their influence survives the manifold changes that happen to 
society in so many other respects. 

Now, if it be true that complaint of Labruyere that " we are 
come into the world too late to produce anything new, that nature and 
life are preoccupied, and that description and sentiment have been 
long exhausted " ; if it be true that literary labor, in times past, has 
spent itself in producing those wonderful creations which, by the com- 
mon consent of mankind, stand as the highest models of composition 
and the highest types of literary excellence, then we must conclude 
that literature has reached its climax and fulfilled its mission, and that 
consequently there is no reason to regret its decadence. Better em- 
ploy the measure of strength and talent with which we are endowed 
in exploring new lands and cultivating new soils than waste them in 
a field that is already gleaned of its harvests and exhausted of its fer- 
tility. To such a gloomy view of the present condition and future 
prospects of literature many men of sound judgment are unwilling to 
subscribe. And yet it seems to me, if they carefully consider the sub- 
ject, especially in connection with the new direction which has been 
given of late years to the studies and aspirations of the noblest minds, 
they must see good reason for modifying their judgment. Let us ex- 
amine it for a few moments with respect to two of the departments of 
letters that are regarded among scholars at least with the highest es- 
teem and veneration of any I mean poetry and history. 

Those who are most familiar with the poetry of different countries, 
and of ancient and modern times, must admit the remarkable resem- 
blance and repetition to be found in it. Under the garb perhaps of a 
new diction, in one poet, will be found lurking the identical idea ex- 
pressed by another. As Emerson says : " The originals are not ori- 
ginal. There is imitation, model and suggestion, to the very arch- 
angels, if we knew their history. The first book tyrannizes over the 
second. Read Tasso, and you think of Virgil ; read Virgil, and you 
think of Homer ; and Milton forces you to reflect how narrow are the 
limits of human invention." And as Dry den somewhere says about 
the modern poets, " You may track them in the snow of the ancients." 
Even the imagery and what is called the " machinery " of poetry repeat 
themselves in different ages, in the pages of different writers. The 


only difference is in the language the thought remains a constant 
quantity, being stereotyped and reproduced to suit the emergency. 

Now, this perpetual recurrence of the same idea among different 
poets is often stigmatized as plagiarism. But such a charge is not 
necessary, and is, I believe, in the majority of cases, entirely without 
foundation. A man gifted, or who imagines himself gifted, with the 
power of composing verses, and who has read with care and attention 
the great masters of the art, will insensibly reproduce many of their 
best thoughts. Yet such a man is not a plagiarist. He is, at the 
worst, only an imitator, and an unconscious imitator at that. And for 
this reason, if not for the one Aristotle gave, poetry may be called 
emphatically an " imitative art." But there is a still higher reason 
why one poet should become, as it were, the echo of another ; and 
that is to be found in the nature and limitations of the human mind 

The maxim, Poeta nascitur non Jit, is the true expression and 
interpretation of the law which governs the poetical order of intellects. 
At rare intervals, Nature has sent into the world a few souls endowed 
with the largest possible measure of ideality and poetical power. Their 
number may be counted upon one's ten fingers. Inspired with song, 
this gifted few can not choose but sing. They are the leaders of the 
choir ; while all the rest are but subordinates, obeying the heaven-born 
impulse given to them by the muses' elect. As well might the mock- 
ing-bird, essay the highest and sweetest notes of the nightingale, or the 
fledgling try the eagle's flight, as one of the non-elect aspire to reach 
the heavenly harmony of these natural minstrels and apostles of song. 
Such men as Homer, and Dante, and Shakespeare, constitute the grand 
natural hierarchy of genius, to which inferior minds instinctively pay 
homage, and before which they " pale their ineffectual fires." These 
are the great central lights of poetry, while all the rest are the little 
miniature worlds revolving around them, and really borrowing from 
them all their effulgence. Hence we ought not to be surprised to find 
nothing in the lesser luminaries which the greater do not contain. It 
is in the order of nature, which it were vain to attempt either to resist 
or reverse. 

Thus the task being almost hopeless of trying to achieve any last- 
ing distinction or success in a field already preoccupied, and incapable 
of further profitable cultivation, many of the most gifted intellects, in 
our day, are diverted from it by the greater prospect of reward held 
out by science, whose territory is vastly more extensive as well as pro- 
lific. It were easy to name more than one man eminent in science, 
whose natural gifts would qualify him to shine in the lists of poetry, 
and yet who has wisely chosen the path leading to higher honor and 
remuneration. Hugh Miller might have stood high among the Scot- 
tish bards, had he devoted himself to the muses with the same ardor 
and enthusiasm with which he grappled some of the profoundest ques- 


tions in geology ; and with how much more of justice might that line 
of Pope 

How sweet an Ovid Murray was our boast ! 

have been applied to Tyndall than to Lord Mansfield, had Tyndall also 
cultivated the muses ! And yet it is safe to say that neither Hugh 
Miller nor Tyndall, by rivaling some of the first poets of the day, 
would have acquired as much honor, and, what is of far more impor- 
tance, would have been of as much service to the world, as in filling so 
worthily and performing so honestly the respective spheres of scientific 
labor assigned to each of them. 

Besides opening up such an avenue to men of real genius, the pur- 
suit of science, when properly understood, is far more attractive and 
more in harmony with their tastes than can possibly be the cultivation 
of an art already touched by the hand of decay, and passing into the 
limbo of faded and effete systems. In the pursuit of science we go in 
quest of natural laws that there is every reason for believing are almost 
innumerable and inexhaustible ; in poetry, the search is for phantoms 
of the imagination which, ten to one, have already flitted across other 
minds and been aj>propriated by them. In science, we search for the 
real, oftentimes more wonderful and beautiful than the most splendid 
visions ; in poetry we search for the ideal, which, if it be new, now 
almost impossible, fails to command admiration, unless it be set before 
us in the most pleasing colors, and in a style of the highest finish. 
This elaborate toilet being unnecessary, though admissible to some 
extent in the treatment of scientific subjects, more range is given to 
the reason and less to the discursive faculties. And herein lies one of 
the chief advantages of the scientific method. While giving sufficient 
rein to the imagination to keep it in healthy exercise, it makes use of 
the reflective and perceptive powers in an eminent degree. Hence it 
engenders the greatest strength and breadth of the intellect ; and it is 
no exaggeration to say that, if all other methods were abandoned, the 
study of science alone is capable of raising the mind to the loftiest 
possible standard of development. 

Sooner or later educational institutions must take notice of this 
fact, and give it the heed its vast importance deserves. It seems im- 
possible that a few narrow-minded patrons and disciples of the old 
system, watching at the gates, should much longer shut out from our 
seminaries of learning that great herald of freedom, of reform, and of 
progress, panoplied in the armor of truth, who has already dethroned 
so many idols of the forum, the pulpit, and the market-place, and who 
s.tands ready, on entering these seminaries, to perform a similar lustra- 
tion. And nothing needs it more. Palsied almost by a regime which 
administers public instruction on pretty much the same plan upon 
which wars are conducted in some of the countries of the Old World 
that is, without adopting either the new discipline or the new arms 


which have enabled other countries to achieve victories our system of 
public schools is sinking into decrepitude and decay for want of a new 
stimulus. Give it this in the shape of lessons in modern science, in all 
its freedom and amplitude, and it will be infused with new life. Give 
it this, and the education of our youth will be something more and 
something higher than injecting into the mind several new languages, 
to the sad neglect of the mother tongue, and loading the memory with 
a useless mass of rules, and definitions, and other abstract forms, which 
are forgotten as soon as the student enters upon the stage of practical 

But to return from what may seem a digression. The influence 
exerted by the march of modern science upon history and historical 
composition is even more direct and decided than its influence upon 
poetry. Dealing with the actions of man either in his individual or 
collective capacity, even the best historians have been in the habit, 
until within a few years past, of regarding them as the result either 
of self-directed will or of special providences. Consequently their 
pages are filled with the marvels wrought by heroes and conquerors, 
particularly those who were regarded as the especial favorites of Heaven. 
No margin has been left in these pages for the operation of general 
laws, guiding and controlling human conduct. And it is only within 
a recent period that the theory has been formulated that the progress 
of society is not to be attributed to the casual disturbances made by 
powerful individuals, or to the ascription of supernatural means, but 
wholly to the force of laws working out their results without the in- 
terference of either divine or human agency. This contribution, or 
rather new direction to history, constituting by far its most essential 
feature and element, we owe to science. A few great minds, chief 
amono- whom may be mentioned Comte in France and Herbert Spen- 
cer in Great Britain, taking their stand upon the recognized principles 
and harmonies prevailing in the material universe, have transferred 
this grand conception of law and order amid apparent discordances 
into the sphere of human societies. Here, as well as in the material 
universe, the relations existing between different communities, and be- 
tween the individual members of each, are relations due to the inter- 
action of natural forces ; and here, as well as in the material universe, 
the changes that have been wrought out by these forces are changes 
analogous to those we see exhibited in the consolidation of the crust 
of the earth, and in the genesis and growth of the solar and stellar 
systems changes, that is to say, from a state of homogeneity to greater 
and greater complexity and apparent elaboration of detail. 

Now, this evident leaning of historians, in common with almost 
every other class of writers, at the present day, toward the theory of 
evolution, is so great, and so much is expected of them on account of 
this theory, that if they were practically to disregard it, in writing 
history, they would be almost left without readers. I might go further, 


and say that the tendency to connect the facts of history with the 
overruling operations of law is fast breaking down the barriers which 
separate our views of the government of the material world from those 
we hold concerning the affairs of man ; so that it is safe to predict 
that the time is not far distant when, in a philosophical point of view, 
no very perceptible difference will be seen between the forces which 
control the conduct and career of nations and those which preside over 
the movements and revolutions of planets. 

In view of this overshadowing influence, it were useless to touch 
upon the minor disturbances which science is producing upon history. 
It may almost be described as the grand motive power, which, in our 
day, is dragging the car of history along with it, as it drags all the 
rest in the train of literature. Whether they are the luxurious palace- 
cars, like poetry and history, furnished with all the elegance which 
man's inventive genius has been accumulating for centuries, and which 
only the richly-endowed may enter, or whether they are the plainer 
passenger-cars, like fiction and eloquence, filled with a group of motley 
characters, of greater or less pretensions and importance, and tricked 
out in a variety of costumes they are all whirled along over the same 
road, obedient to the impulse given them by the mighty machine which 
stands, or rather flies, at the head of the train. 

The highest aim of science is to discover the truths of nature. 
Literature, aspiring to something similar to this, recognizes the highest 
merit of literary composition in what is called its "truth to nature." 
In delineations of character, in descriptions of scenery, in the skillful 
weaving together of the component parts of a play or a novel, in the 
birth of sentiment, or in the happy turn given to an expression, what 
we most admire is the writer's adherence to certain rules or standards 
that have the closest conformity with what we observe in the internal 
or external worlds. From what we perceive in ourselves or in things 
around us, we derive the measure and gauge of all literary excellence. 
True, our own perceptions are trained and quickened by the thoughts 
and perceptions of others ; so that what we read or hear aids us in 
correcting, enlarging, or refining our literary judgments. But we 
must be able to combine empirical tests with subjective analysis, be- 
fore the intellectual process can be completed which authorizes us to 
determine whether any given production reaches that highest grade of 
excellence implied in its being " true to nature." But what, it may 
be asked, does this truth to nature actually consist in ? Is it necessary 
that the author should set before us something that really exists ? some- 
thing to be seen in nature, like a tree or a waterfall ? Do we require of 
him an absolute verity ? So far from this, it is only necessary that he 
should not shock us with anything that, at first sight, is repugnant to 
our tastes or feelings anything that bears on its face the marks of 
falsehood or extravagance. Within these limits, a " counterfeit pre- 
sentment " is as good as the original. All that the most fastidious 


reader can ask in an author is a certain similitude to nature. He 
never looks for anything more than what is called vraisemblance cr 
plausibility. What seems to he true satisfies him as well as what is 

How opposite to this the mental discipline and research required 
of the scientist ! No illusions or half-truths can ever satisfy his 
mind. Engaged in prolonged labors to find out the laws of natural 
phenomena, he counts nothing as gained so long as these remain un- 
discovered. One after another chimeras vanish from his mind ; the- 
ories are tried, only to be discarded, if found not to fit in with facts ; 
verifications from many opposite quarters are applied to test the value 
of a given hypothesis; and, if, after all, any of them are seen to be at 
variance with it, the hypothesis is abandoned, though it may have been 
cherished with all the ardor of a first and only affection. 

That the semblance of truth answers the purpose of almost every 
kind of literature, as well as the reality, and thus places it in marked 
contrast with the rigid requirements of science, is further manifest 
from this, that we often see two propositions or apothegms, entirely 
repugnant to each other, equally applauded by the multitude, and 
maintaining a place and a good character in current literature ; while 
of two rival theories or doctrines in science, either both are sooner or 
later rejected, or they become reconciled, or one is finally substanti- 
ated. Every one's reading, if at all extensive, will readily suggest 
illustrations of the truth of this remark. A few of these inconsist- 
encies or contradictions in literature may not be out of place here. 
First, we will compare what is said by two distinguished philosophers 
upon the subject of anger. " To be moved by passion," says Marcus 
Aurelius, " is not manly, but mildness and gentleness, as they are 
more agreeable to human nature ; so, also, are they more manly ; and 
he who professes these qualities possesses strength, nerve, and courage 
and not the man who is subject to fits of passion and discontent. 
For in the same degree in which a man's mind is nearer to freedom 
from all passion, in the same degree also is it nearer to strength. And 
as the sense of pain is a characteristic of weakness, so also is anger. 
For he who yields to pain and he who yields to anger are both wound- 
ed, and both submit." On the other hand, Bacon : " To seek to ex- 
tinguish anger utterly is but a bravery of the Stoics. We have better 
oracles. ... In refraining from anger, it is the best remedy to win 
time, and to make a man's self believe that the opportunity of his 
revenge is not yet come ; but that he foresees a time for it, and so to 
still himself, in the mean time, and reserve it." Next, hear what two 
others of the same guild have to advise us concerning knowledge: 
" It is a vanity to waste our days in the blind pursuit of knowledge ; 
it is but attending a little longer, and we shall enjoy that by instinct 
and infusion which we endeavor at here by labor and inquisition. It 
is better to sit down in a modest ignorance, and rest contented with 


the natural blessings of our own reason, than buy the uncertain knowl- 
edge of this life with sweat and vexation, which death gives every 
fool gratis" (Sir Thomas Browne). "No way has been found for 
making heroism easy even for the scholar. Labor, iron labor, is for 
him. . . . There is so much to be done that we ought to begin quickly 
to bestir ourselves. This day-labor of ours, we confess, has hitherto 
a certain emblematic air, like the annual plowing and sowing of the 
Emperor of China. Let us make it an honest sweat " (Emerson). Who 
shall decide when doctors disagree ? Once more, look at what Her- 
bert Spencer calls the " great-man theory " in history. He and Ma- 
caulay and Buckle, on one side, are as wide apart as the poles of the 
earth from Carlyle and Emerson, on the other, concerning this theory. 
Hear Carlyle first : " We can not look, however imperfectly, upon a 
great man without gaining something by him. He is the living light- 
fountain, which it is good and pleasant to be near the light which 
enlightens, which has enlightened, the darkness of the world ; and 
this not as a kindled lamp only, but rather as a natural luminary, shin- 
ing by the gift of Heaven." To the same effect, Emerson: "Literary 
history, and all history, is a record of the power of minorities, and of 
minorities of one. . . . The importance of the one person who has 
truth over nations who have it not is because power obeys reality and 
not appearance, according to quality and not quantity. How much 
more are men than nations ! ... So that, wherever a true man appears, 
everything usually reckoned great dwarfs itself. He is the only great 
event ; and it is easy to lift him into a mythological person." 

On the other side, hear Macaulay : " Those who have read history 
with discrimination know the fallacy of those panegyrics and invec- 
tives which represent individuals as effecting great moral and intel- 
lectual revolutions, subverting established systems, and impressing a 
new character on the age. The difference between one man and an- 
other is by no means so great as the superstitious crowd supposes. . . . 
The sun illuminates the hills while it is still below the horizon ; and 
truth is discovered by the highest minds a little before it becomes 
manifest to the multitude. This is the extent of their superiority. 
They are the first to catch and reflect a light which, without their 
assistance, must, in a short time, be visible to those who lie far beneath 
them." And here is what Herbert Spencer offers on the same side : 
" The origin of the great man is natural ; and, immediately he is thus 
recognized, he must be classed with all other phenomena in the society 
that gave him birth as a product of its antecedents. Along with the 
whole generation of which he forms a minute part, along with its 
institutions, language, knowledge, manners, and its multitudinous arts 
and appliances, he is a resultant of an enormous aggregate of causes 
that have been operating for ages. . . . If it be a fact that the great 
man may modify his nation in its structure and actions, it is also a fact 
that there must have been those antecedent modifications constituting 


national progress before he could be evolved. Before be can make 
bis society, bis society must make bim ; so tbat all tbose changes, of 
which he is the proximate imitator, have their chief causes in the 
generations which gave him birth. If there is to be anything like a 
real explanation of these changes, it must be sought in that aggregate 
of conditions out of which both he and they have arisen." 

And so on through the literature of all nations, from the earliest 
times down to the present day, it abounds in antagonism of sentiment. 
And when two or more authors happen to agree, others will be found 
who will refute their positions, and convict them of mistakes ; so as 
almost to justify tbat saying of Voltaire, tbat "the history of human 
opinion is scarcely anything more than the history of human error." 
More than this : not only will these various disagreements be dis- 
covered among different authors, but different passages in the same 
author will show a similar want of harmony, and, what is a greater 
wonder and anomaly still, the same passage, which will not want for 
admirers on account of its beauty and the justice and accuracy of the 
sentiments it expresses, will sometimes find just as many, even though 
its meaning be entirely reversed. Take the commencement of one of 
Emerson's latest essays, called " Resources," to illustrate what I mean. 
I place side by side with the original affirmative propositions their 
negatives : 

" Men are made up of potences. We 
are magnets in an iron globe. We have 
keys to all doors. We are all inventors, 
each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, 
guided each by a private chart, of which 
there is no duplicate," etc. 

Men are made up of impotences. We 
are magnets in a wooden globe. We have 
keys to no doors. Scarcely any are invent- 
ors, sailing ont on a voyage of discovery. 
Scarcely any are guided by a private chart, 
of which there is no duplicate, etc. 

Or take this passage from one of Dr. Johnson's essays : " It seems 
to be the fate of man to seek all bis consolations in futurity. The 
time present is seldom able to fill desire or imagination with immedi- 
ate enjoyment, and we are forced to supply its deficiencies by recol- 
lection or anticipation. . . . Thus every period of life is obliged to 
borrow its happiness from time to come. In youth we have nothing 
past to entertain us, and in age we derive little from retrospect but 
hopeless sorrow." If there are persons to be found who will subscribe 
to these views, there are more who will adopt the contrary, as thus : 
It seems to be the fate of man to seek all his consolations in the 
present. The future is seldom able to fill desire or imagination with 
sufficient enjoyment, and hence we are forced to supply its deficiencies 
with that which is immediate. . . . Thus every period of life is obliged 
to borrow its happiness from the present moment, etc. 

Now, as I have before hinted, there is no chance for such contra- 
dictions in science ; or, if they ever occur, their existence, from the 
very nature of the pursuit, can not be of permanent duration. There 
is no such thing as imaginary laws controlling phenomena. Nature 


abhors a fallacy or a fiction more than a vacuum ; and though for a 
stated period the true cause of a given phenomenon may be hidden 
from view, owing to the imperfect means or the imperfect intelligence 
employed to unravel it, and thus a fictitious origin be assigned for it, 
yet in course of time the error is sure to be detected and the truth to 
be revealed. Thus it was with the astronomical system of Ptolemy. 
Up to the time of Copernicus the learned world as well as the illiter- 
ate were led to believe that the sun and all the rest of the heavenly 
bodies revolved around the earth, as the center of the entire system. 
Yet, as soon as the error was exploded, and the truth demonstrated, 
there was a universal rejection of the one and a universal recognition 
of the other. So, at a later period, when the true theory of ethereal 
undulations, as applied to light, fought its way against much opposi- 
tion into popular belief, the old theory of emanations was dropped, 
never to be again taken up. 

Nevertheless, from what has been said, it must not be inferred that 
what are called coincidences of thought never occur among scientists. 
On the contrary, these are so common as to give license for believing 
in the existence of a law, akin to that of evolution if not a part of it, 
by virtue of which, in the progress of knowledge, certain new truths 
dawn upon the world, receiving expression simultaneously from more 
than one mind. Given the age which is ripe for any discovery, and 
it breaks out in many different quarters of the globe at the same mo- 
ment. Men seem to be watching for it, and, like a meteor glancing 
across the heavens, it is witnessed by several observers from many 
points of the compass. Take, for example, the great law of natural 
selection, as applicable to man's origin it was discovered simultane- 
ously in England by Darwin and Wallace ; while in Germany, at the 
same time, Haeckel had promulgated a similar theory ; and in France, 
in a preceding age, Lamarck had laid the foundation for it in the most 
unmistakable manner. 

But it is only in this single point of occasional coincidence or iden- 
tity that the leading thoughts of science take on a certain likeness 
with those of literature. The analogy ends with the admission that 
each of these thoughts may have rival paternities. Beyond this the 
difference becomes manifest ; and it consists in this : While the utter- 
ances of different literatures may seem to be original, this is often 
owing to a variation in their phraseology, an examination of which 
will show them to be identical ; and, in addition to this, there is no 
criterion by which their truth can be tested. But in science, while 
different claims may be made for originality of discovery, each truth 
stands out in bold relief, is distinct and well defined, and, after it has 
been submitted to all the various verifications of which it is suscep- 
tible, it no longer admits of any doubt and becomes a part of the com- 
mon stock of human knowledge, possessing, as nearly as possible, the 
attributes of positive, absolute, and immutable truth. 


Owing to the endless tautologies of literature, it requires little dis- 
cernment to see that it must be approaching a crisis in, if not a com- 
pletion of, its destiny. Traveling in the same old circle, and treating 
us perpetually to the same round of entertainment without change or 
variety, it must gradually cease to interest, and eventually die a natu- 
ral death. With no new oil to fill its lamps, steeped in a kind of 
Stygian darkness of its own creation, one may well exclaim with 
Othello : 

I know not where is that Promethean heat 

That can its light relume. 

And that this would have been a natural result if modern science 
had not come to the rescue at the right moment, and furnished its 
proper share of this " Promethean heat," admits of scarcely a doubt, 
especially in view of the fact that the most successful cultivators of 
letters in modern times are found resorting, for their choicest inspira- 
tion, to the new fountains thus opened to use. Notably among poets 
such men as Tennyson, among historians such men as Buckle, and 
among critics such men as Taine, have availed themselves of these 
helps to their genius ; while by differentiating the condition of man, 
in some of the most important particulars, science has so wrought 
upon his character and destiny as to render it possible for such splen- 
did intellects as Goethe, Dickens, and Victor Hugo to say something 
original of him. For, if you strip their pages of what may be called 
their scientific coloring, if you take away what directly or indirectly 
may be traced to the magic web which science has woven all through 
the affairs of modern life, you strip them of much of their witchery 
and of most of their originality. 

Now, without going into particulars, we may say generally that 
the way in which science has wrought this great reform and revolution 
in literature has been by widening our survey of both man and na- 
ture. From a being of comparative insignificance, ruled by the rod 
of a tyrant, or made the sport of demons, and whose views of things 
were bounded by the narrowest horizon, she has transformed man into 
a being of the highest order of which we have any knowledge, having 
risen to it by the operation of laws that have been shaping his destiny 
for ages. Step by step his powers have been unfolding and the range 
of his vision enlarging, until he has been able to find some clew to his 
origin, and some interpretation of natural laws that before were a 
mystery to him. By the aid of what may be considered a sort of 
" second sight," namely, instruments of his own invention, he has been 
enabled to explore the remotest bounds of creation, and thus literally 
open to himself a new heaven and a new earth. With the telescope 
he has reached the most distant of planets, with the spectroscope he 
has discovered many of their constituent elements, and with the mi- 
croscope he has penetrated into the secrets of the minutest forms of 
insect life. Through molecular physics and the grand modern tri- 

VOL. XV. 12 


umph of evolution, both in its relation to man and the totality of 
nature, he has brought near to him many of the outlying provinces of 
human knowledge, and poured upon them. a flood of light. 

To the investigation of principles has succeeded the application of 
useful inventions. Theories have almost invariably germinated into 
practical science. From the study of mathematics, physics, chemistry, 
and geology, industries have been developed which have made the 
commonest dwelling of modern times a palace and the poorest cities 
a miracle of magnificence, compared with those of the past. 

And all of this material advancement has been attended by a cor- 
responding diffusion of knowledge and awakening of intellectual ac- 
tivity, so that the merest tyro in knowledge, at the present day, sur- 
passes in intellectual acquisitions all that the most successful scholar 
of Greece and Rome could boast of, even though he had mastered all 
the learning of antiquity. More marvelous still, the latest expression 
of psychological science forces upon us the conviction that the mental 
faculties themselves, in harmony with the results of evolution every- 
where else, are brought within its grasp, that they are thus enlarged 
in their capacity, and made equal to the task of furnishing through 
the revolving ages disclosures of the almost limitless secrets of the 
material world, and of the agency which brought it into being. 

Here then, finally, we may look for the only avenue of escape 
from the doom with which literature was threatened a doom not un- 
like that which settled over the Empire of Dullness as painted by the 
poet. In that picture the whole assembled concourse of wits and 
critics are represented as falling into a profound slumber, while listen- 
ing to the sleepy literary performances of one or two of their heroes. 
Nor did they ever rise out of this lethargy. Fortunately, the compari- 
son ends here. For while, without doubt, the same leaden slumber 
was fast settling over the prostrate form of modern Literature, the 
mighty enchantress, modern Science, touched it at the propitious mo- 
ment with her potent rod, and woke into new life its exhausted and 
dying energies. 


By 0. R. BACHELER, M. D., 


HAVING recently come in possession of a family of these inter- 
esting little animals, I have found both pleasure and instruction 
in studying their habits. Others of the lizard tribe are not averse 
to, and many seem to prefer, the vicinity of men, while the chameleon 
always seeks the deep jungle, away from observation. 

A woman from the jungle who happened to discover their haunts 


has brought me at different times eight, one large and seven smaller 
ones, apparently of the same family. A large bird-cage keeps them 
securely, but they are turned out upon the grass, or placed on trees in 
the garden, for an hour or two daily, while a boy is employed to watch 
them, catch grasshoppers, and feed them. In the cool of the morning 
and evening they are not inclined to wander ; but when the sun is hot. 
if they find that they are not watched, they are pretty sure to make 
for the largest trees, and then there must be a general turn-out of spare 
hands to look them up and capture them. As their quickest pace is 
only about five feet per minute, they are never able to get far away, 
unless too long neglected. There is great difficulty in finding them 
sometimes, even though we may know pretty nearly where they are, 
such is their adroitness in concealing themselves. 

"We have a small gardinia-tree, the top not three feet in diameter, 
and the foliage not dense enough to conceal one of them, and yet, after 
half a dozen of them had been placed upon the branches, I have looked 
for two or three seconds without being able to distinguish one, though 
on looking more intently I could see the whole without difficulty. So, 
to enable us to see them when they wander, we tie a bit of scarlet Ber- 
lin wool around their loins, which enables us to trace them easily. 
Sometimes when on the trees the scarlet wool may be seen bright in 
the sunshine when the little animals themselves are quite invisible. 

The chameleon has been an object of curiosity the world over on 
account of its power to change its color, but its power to change its 
form is not less remarkable. Sometimes it assumes the form of a dis- 
consolate mouse sitting mum in a corner ; again, with back curved and 
tail erect, it resembles a crouching lion, which no doubt gave origin to 
its name, chamai-leon, or ground-lion. By inflating its sides it flattens 
its belly, and viewed from below takes the form of an ovate leaf. The 
tail is the petiole, while a white serrated line, which runs from nose to 
tip of tail over the belly, becomes the midrib. Still again throwing 
out the air, it draws in its sides, and at the same time expands itself 
upward and downward till it becomes as thin as a knife, and then 
viewed from the side it has the form of an ovate leaf without a midrib 
but with the serrate line of the belly and the serrated back becoming 
the serrated edges of a leaf. When thus expanded it also has the 
power to sway itself over so as to present an edge to an observer, thus 
greatly adding to its means of concealment. 

I have studied the changes of color with much interest. In its 
normal state of rest it is of a light pea-green, at times blending with 
yellow. The least excitement, as in handling, causes a change. The 
groundwork remains the same, but transverse stripes appear running 
across the back and nearly encircling the body in a full-grown animal, 
numbering about thirty, and extending from head to tip of tail. These 
stripes occupy about the same amount of space as the groundwork, 
and are most susceptible to change of color. At first they become 


deeply green, and if the excitement continues gradually change to 
black. When placed upon a tree the groundwork becomes a deep 
green and the stripes a deeper green or black, and so long as they re- 
main on the trees the color does not change. The prevailing idea, that 
they take on the peculiar hue of the foliage among which they happen 
to be, is, I think, erroneous. We have placed them on the scarlet leaves 
of the dracsena and among the red flowers of the acacia, with no change 
from the prevailing green. 

My largest specimen measures from nose to tip of tail fourteen 
inches, the body and tail being about equal the circumference of the 
largest part of the body about six inches. The legs are thick and 
muscular. The form of the feet, .so far as I am aware, has no parallel 
in the animal kingdom. They resemble two hands placed palm to 
palm and divided to the wrist. The outer palm has three minute 
fingers armed with sharp, curved claws, while the inner has but two. 
Opened to its full extent it clasps a space of about two inches. Hands 
and feet are much the same, except that the feet are somewhat larger 
and thicker. The entire body is covered with armor. This consists 
of oval plates placed edge to edge. There are about nine hundred to 
the square inch, giving on my largest specimen, by estimate, thirty- 
two thousand plates. The color has its seat in the armor. 

The tail coils up into a ring quite close to the body, when not 
required for use. The feet and tail have great power of prehension. 
The animal will clasp a branch with either so firmly that considerable 
force is necessary to detach it. Giving the tail a turn round a twig they 
will throw the body forward and grasp another branch a foot or more 
away, and so move from branch to branch. At night they hang them- 
selves up, sometimes by the tail only, or by the tail and one or more of 
their claws, and so sleep. 

The eyes are cones about. one fourth of an inch in diameter, one 
half projecting beyond the socket, completely covered with armor 
except at the point where the pupil is seen. This is about the size of 
the head of a large pin, set in a delicate ring of burnished gold. The 
eyes act independently of each other, the cones rolling freely in all 
directions, one often looking straight forward while the other is turned 
backward, giving them a most comical appearance. 

The mouth is literally an open sepulchre. When opened you see a 
deep cavern almost down to the stomach, with no indications of a 
tongue. At the ramus of the lower jaw a deposit of whitish, gelatinous 
matter may be seen, covered with a thick, viscid mucus. On pressing 
upward beneath the jaws, a round, fleshy tongue is thrown up, a fourth 
of an inch in diameter and extending deep into the throat, the point of 
which is covered by the gelatinous deposit before mentioned, much 
like the swab on the rammer of a cannon. There are no teeth, but 
the edges of the jaws are serrated to serve the purpose of seizing and 
holding its game. 


The lot of the chameleon is to live on trees and subsist on insects. 
Its motions are sluggish. It lies close upon a branch, assuming a form 
and color suitable to concealment, with its mouth wide open. Its 
viscid mucus serves to attract insects, and the moment they come in 
contact with it they are securely caught. When within two or three 
inches, the tongue is thrust out like a flash, the intruder is caught 
on the swab and drawn into the mouth. The tongue is then drawn 
down the throat, carrying the victim alive into the stomach. Be- 
yond this we are not able to trace the process. We have seen grass- 
hoppers to the number of half a dozen thus drawn in one after 

Whether the change of color and form is voluntary or not, I have 
been unable to determine. From careful observation I am inclined to 
the opinion that it may be both voluntary and involuntary. Change 
of form seems to be quite under control, and change of color appears 
to be so at times. 

Their intelligence seems to be of a very low order. After being- 
separated they greet one another with open mouth and a hiss. They 
manifest no emotion, and no form of petting seems to be appreciated. 
Their instinct is to conceal themselves from observation, to climb to the 
highest available point, and to lie with open mouth waiting for their 
prey to come to them. The only activity they manifest is in the 
use of the tongue, and in this they are not excelled by any other 

In conclusion, we may notice some prominent marks of design and 
adaptation : 

1. The power to change color and form affords the means of con- 

2. The sharp claws and muscular power of feet and tail fit it for its 
abode on the branches of trees, often swayed and dashed about by the 
fierce tempest. 

3. The tenacious mucus of its mouth attracts insects, while the dart- 
ing tongue by the rapidity of its motion is an offset to the sluggishness 
of -the creature's movements. 

4. Its armor-plates afford a protection from other marauders, and 
also from the heat of the sun and the inclemencies of the weather. 

5. It is the friend of man, subsisting mainly if not entirely on insects 
that are injurious to vegetation. 








JHE scheme of this service places the long chain of complete life- 
saving stations on the Atlantic beaches within an average distance 
of five miles of each other, the object being to maintain the intercom- 
munication of patrol, and effect the speedy assembling of several 
crews in case of the occurrence of a wreck requiring multiplied efforts. 
The complete life-saving stations are generally situated just behind 
the beach, among the low sand-hills common to such localities. They 
are typically two-story houses, mainly built of tongued and grooved 
pine, with gable roofs, covered with cypress or cedar shingles, and 
strong shutters to the windows, and are securely bolted to a founda- 
tion of cedar or locust posts, sunk in trenches four feet deep. Their 
architecture is of the pointed order, somewhat in the chalet style, with 
heavy projecting eaves and a small open observatory or lookout desk, 
on the peak of the roof, from which spires a flag-staff. The walls of 
the houses are painted drab, with darker color for the door and win- 
dow trimmings, and the roofs dark red. Over the door is a tablet with 
the inscription "TJ. S. Life-saving Station." The appearance of 

the houses is tasty and pictu- 
resque. Their dimensions are 
from eighteen to twenty feet 
wide by forty feet long ; the 
later houses are twenty by 
forty-five. Below they con- 
tain two rooms. One of these 
is the boat-room, about ten 
feet high, occupying over two 
thirds of the ground -floor 
space, or measuring about six- 
teen by thirty feet, and open- 
ing by a broad double-leaf 
door into the weather. In this 
are stored the boats, life-car, 
wreck-gun, and most of the apparatus. The other room, about eight 
feet high, and measuring about twelve by sixteen feet, is the general 
living-room of the crew. The second story contains three rooms, one 
for the storage of the lighter apparatus, one for the sleeping-room of 
the keeper, and one for that of the men ; both of these furnished with 
cot-beds in sufficient number for the accommodation also of the oc- 
casional guests sent to the stations by shipwreck. At stations where 

Fig. 1. Life-saving Station. 


there is communication with the Signal Service, there is an additional 
room in the upper story for the accommodation of the signal officer. 
The later and better built stations have interior walls of lath and 
plaster, and are furnished outside with cisterns for the collection of 
rain-water. The lack of fresh water on the beaches is one of the hard- 
ships of station-life. 

The life-boat stations are usually twenty-four feet high from base 
to peakj forty-two feet long by twenty-two feet wide, exterior mea- 
surements, and contain a loft above, and a room below twelve feet 
high, twenty feet wide, and forty feet long, for the accommodation 
of the life-boat and its gear. They are built of matched and grooved 
pine, with gable roofs shingled with cedar, and are painted like the 
other stations. They are placed on piles at the water's edge, or set 
on the inner side of the piers, and are furnished with an incline plat- 
form, or trap in the floor, along which the life-boat is let down and 
launched into the water by a windlass. Over the door of each is a 
tablet inscribed " U. S. Life-Boat Statiox." 

The houses of refuge are two-story structures, of a style common 
at the South, with broad gabled roofs, an ample veranda eight feet 
wide on three sides of the structure, and large chimneys in the rear, 
built outside of the wall. The houses are of pine, raised about six 
feet from the ground on light wood posts, and the roofs shingled 
Kdth cypress. Instead of glass, the windows are fitted with wire-gauze 
mosquito netting. The houses are about thirty-seven feet long by fif- 
teen feet wide, not including the veranda space. The upper story is a 
loft, the lower has three apartments. Each house has capacity for 
succoring twenty-five persons, with provisions to feed that number for 
ten days. A boat-house is provided for each station, furnished with a 
galvanized iron boat with sculls. 

A complete life-saving station, fully equipped, costs about $5,000 ; 
a life-boat station about $4,500 ; and a house of refuge about $3,000. 

The stations are fully equipped with all minor appurtenances appo- 
site to their purpose, such as anchors, grapnels, axes, shovels, boat- 
hooks, and wreckers' materials and implements generally ; and those 
which are inhabited are also furnished with stoves, cot-beds, mat- 
tresses, blankets, and the utensils requisite for rude housekeeping. 
The crews find their own provisions. The stations are also provided 
with all the most approved appliances for saving life from wrecks. 
First among these is the six-oared surf-boat, the light weight and 
draught of which make it the only boat yet found suitable for service 
for the flat beaches and shoaling water of the Atlantic and Gulf coast. 
Though not invariably of the same model, it is usually of cedar, with 
white-oak frames, without keel, varying in dimensions, but generally 
from twenty-five to twenty-seven feet long, from five and one half to 
six feet wide, and from two feet three inches to two feet six inches in 
least depth. It has commonly air-cases at the ends and along the in- 



terior sides under the thwarts, which make it insubmergible, and is 
fitted with cork fenders running along the outer sides to protect it 
against collision with hulls or wreckage. Its weight is from TOO to 
1,000 pounds. It is guided by a long steering oar, the steersman 
standing in the stern. In the hands of the skilled surfmen of our 
coasts, it is capable of marvelous action, and few sights are more 
impressive than the passage out through the flashing breakers of the 
frail red boat, lightly swimming on the vast intumescence of the surge, 
held in suspension before the roaring and tumultuous comber, or dart- 
ing forward as the wall of water breaks and crumbles, obedient to the 
oars of the impassive crew. Though sometimes thrown back and 
broken in desperate and unavailing efforts at a launch against a resist- 

Fig. 2. Surf-Boat upon its Carriage. 

less sea, this boat, which might be upset easily, has rarely in the his- 
tory of the service been capsized in passing through the surf, so great 
is the skill of her gallant oarsmen ; and certain great surfmen, like 
Captain Hildreth, of Station 39, New Jersey, say that in it they will 
face any sea in which a life-boat can live. 

On the Lakes and the Pacific coast, where steep shores or piers 
command deep water, and by mechanical contrivances heavy boats can 
be launched directly into it, the English life-boat is in general use. 
This wonderful contrivance, the result of a century of repeated effort, 
is of massive strength and stability. It is built of double diagonals of 
mahogany. The size generally in use in this country is about twenty- 
seven feet in length, a little over seven feet broad, three feet eight 
inches deep, carrying eight oars, double-banked, and weighing when 
empty 4,000 pounds. It is self-righting and self -bailing. In other 
words, when thrown over, which is difficult to be done, by a heavy sea, 
it instantly rights and empties. The first of these two extraordinary 
characteristics, to which a great number of advantages are sacrificed, 
is effected by a ponderous false keel of iron, which gives the lower part 
of the boat a constant determination. toward the water, while an equal 


determination from the water is maintained for the upper portion of 
the boat by a distribution of air-cases at the sides and ends, scientifi- 
cally proportioned. The self-bailing characteristic is effected by a 
deck adjusted with reference to the draught of the boat, so that, what- 
ever be the load of the latter, the deck is above the load-line; and, be- 

Fig. 3. Self-Righting Life-Boat upon its Carriage. 

ing fitted with tubes extending vertically down through the bottom of 
the boat, it follows that whatever water the boat takes on board falls 
through the tubes, in obedience to the law which. compels fluids to 
seek their level, and leaves the deck free. The delivery tubes are fur- 
nished with self-acting valves, opening to the downward pressure of 
the water shipped by the boat, and shutting to the pressure of the jets 
from below. Cork ballast adds by its weight to the stability of the 
boat, and augments its buoyancy in case the boat be stove. Two 
masts, made detachable, are provided, fitted with two low lug-sails 
and a jib. The boat is wellnigh invulnerable, but its great weight and 
draught, and the resistance its high bows offer to the wind, often 
make its towage by steam-tug necessary to enable it to reach a wreck 
at a distance. Particular attention is given to the stowage of its 
ropes, lines, anchors, and other articles carried in life-boats, these be- 
ing arranged by a strict method with reference to economy of space 
and facility of use, and always kept on board, ready for service, lest 
any of them should be forgotten in the excitement of a sudden sum- 




1. Anchor. 

2. Cable. 

3. Bow heaving-line or grapnel- 

rope and grapnel. 

4. Drogue-rope. 

5. Stern heaving-line. 

" ( Veering-lines. 

8. Jib outhaul or tack. 

9. Mizzen-sheets. 

10. Drogue. 

11. Life-buoy, 

12. Loaded cane, 
and tub. 


mons for wreck duty. Carriages of a peculiar construction are pro- 
vided in England for the transportation and launching of these boats, 

together with skids and roll- 
ers for returning them to 
their carriages ; but at pres- 
ent in this country they are 
let down by the trap or in- 
clined platform directly into 
the. water, the station being 
always at the water's edge. 
The surf -boats are provided 
with carriages, by which 
they are hauled from the 
stations abreast of wrecks. 
They are four-wheeled, with 
bed-pieces between each pair 
of wheels, on which the boat 
rests, and a long bar or reach 
connecting the front and 
back wheels, made separable 
half-way to enable the boat 
to be lowered to the ground 
by withdrawing a portion of 
the carriage. The American 
life-boat, invented by Cap- 
tain J. M. Richardson, Super- 
intendent of the First Life- 
saving District, five speci- 
mens of which are now in use, would seem to be better adapted for the 
service on our coast than the English, being considerably lighter and 
of less draught, and equally self-righting and self -bailing. 

When boat service at a 
wreck is impracticable, re- 
sort is had to life-saving 
ordnance. The gun first in 
use was an eprouvette mortar, 
of cast iron, weighing 288 
pounds, throwing a twenty- 
four - pound spherical ball 
with a line attached thereto, 
its extreme range being 421 
yards. This gave place to 
the Parrott gun, of cast iron, 
with a steel tube or lining, 
weighing, with its ash-wood 
carriage, 266 pounds, car- 

13. Tailed block. 

14. Pump-well hatch. 

} j- Deck- ventilating hatches. 

17. Foot-boards for rowers. 
13. Side air-cases. 

19. Relieving tubes and valves. 

20. Samson's post. 

21. Thwarts. 

22. Central batten, to which the 

masts and boat-hooks are 

Fig. 4. Deck-Plan of Self-Righting Life-Boat, 
showing Manner of stowing Gear. 


-Eprouvette Mortar, Faking-Box, and 


Fig. 6. Lyle Gun. 

rying a twenty-four-pound, elongated projectile, with a maximum 
range of 473 yards. The Lyle gun, which has superseded these, is of 
bronze, smooth . bore, weighing 185 pounds, with a cylindrical line- 
carrying shot weighing seventeen pounds, and a range of 695 yards. 
The reduction in weight over the lightest previous ordnance is 110 
pounds, and the increase in range over the old eprouvette is 274 yards. 
Other advantages of the Lyle gun are its strength, owing to the 
tenacity and ductility of its material, its freedom from corrosion, and 
its exemption from the erosive action of gases, there being little wind- 
age, and from wear by the projectile, this being nearly the length of 
the bore. The projectile has a shank protruding four inches from the 
muzzle of the gun, to an eye in which the line is tied a device which 
prevents the line from being 
burned off by the ignited 
gases in firing. The shot- 
line is made of unbleached 
linen thread, very closely 
and smoothly braided, is 
waterproofed, and has great 
elasticity, which tends to in- 
sure it against breaking. The 

lines in use are of varying thicknesses, according to circumstances, 
ranging from one eighth to three eighths of an inch, and their length 
varies from 500 to 700 yards. The shot-line is carried in a faking-box 
a wooden chest with handles for convenience in carrying. There 
are two or three sizes in use, the dimensions of the largest being about 
three feet long by one and a half wide, and a foot deep. Connected 
with it is a frame, a little 
larger than the box, with a 
row of wooden pins set ver- 
tically into its four sides. A 
false bottom, which is a tab- 
let of wood pierced with 
holes corresponding to the 
pins, is let down over them 
until it reaches their bases, 
and rests upon the frame. 
In disposing the shot-line, 
the faker begins at the cor- 
ner, and coils it in successive diagonal loops or fakes over the pins, 
layer above layer, until the line is completely rove. The box is 
then let down over the pins, and fastened at each end to the 
frame. It is now ready for transportation to the scene of a wreck. 
When brought there, it is turned upside down, disclosing the false 
bottom, with the frame superimposed upon it. Two men, one at each 
end of the box, release the fastenings, and, each pressing his foot upon 


7 Method op withdrawing Frame and Pins 
from Shot-Line in Faking-Box. 



the false bottom to keep it down, the two lift off the frame, bringing 
away the pins with it. The false bottom is then lifted off the line, 
which remains in the box, disposed in the layers of diagonal loops or 
fakes made by the pins. The line is thus arranged to pay out freely, 
and fly to a wreck without entanglement or friction. The end is now 
tied into the eye of the shank of the shot in the gun ; the box, which 
is always placed a few feet to the windward of the gun, is canted up 
on one side at an angle of about forty-five degrees ; and the line is 
ready for firing. The line is always brought ready faked to the scene 
of action and fired from the box. In case a second shot is necessary, 
the line is laid out in large loops upon a tarpaulin spread out upon 
the beach, which is called French faking. This is done to save time, 

Fig. 8. Firing Shot-Line to Wreck. 

twenty-five or thirty minutes being requisite to fake a line properly in 
the box ; but it is less desirable, as exposure to the flying sand or the 
rain or spray lessens the range by impeding the flight of the line. 
When the shot-line reaches the wreck, the shore end is connected with 
the whip or hauling line. This is an endless rope or ellipse, an inch 
and a half in circumference, and long enough to reach from the shore 
to the vessel. It is reeved through a pulley-block, having attached to 
it to several feet of rope called a tail. The shot-line is tied around both 
parts of the whip, a few feet above the pulley-block, and the crew of 
the vessel at a signal haul the whip on board by means of the shot-line. 
With it goes a tablet called a tally-board, on which are printed, in 
French upon one side and in English upon the other, directions for 
properly setting up the whip-line on the vessel. When this is done, 
a signal is made to the shore, and a hawser of sufficient length and 
four inches in circumference, to which is attached another tally-board, 
bearing printed directions in English and French for its disposition, is 
tied to one part of the whip or hauling line, and is sent out to the ves- 
sel by the life-saving crew pulling upon the other part. Obeying the 
directions of this tally-board, the men on the ship fasten the hawser 
to the mast about eighteen inches above the hauling-line. A crotch, 

Fig. 9. Crotch, Hawser, and Sand-Anchor. 


made of two pieces of wood, three by two inches thick and ten feet 
long, crossed near the top, so as to form a sort of X, and bolted to- 
gether, is erected, and the 
shore end of the hawser is 
drawn over the intersection. 
A sand-anchor, composed of 
two pieces of hard wood, six 
feet long, eight inches wide, 
and two inches thick, crossed 
at their centers, bolted to- 
gether, and furnished at the 
center with a stout iron ring, 
is laid obliquely in a trench 
dug behind the crotch. An 
iron hook, from which runs 
a strap of rope, having at its 
other end an iron ring called 
a bull's-eye, is now fastened 
into the ring of the sand- 
anchor. This strap connects 
by the bull's-eye with a double pulley-block at the end of the hawser 
behind the crotch, by which the hawser is drawn and kept taut. The 
trench is solidly filled in, and the imbedded sand-anchor, held by the 
lateral strain against the side of the trench, sustains the slender bridge 
of rope constituted by the hawser. 

If there are a large number of persons to be saved, the life-car is 
used. This is a covered boat of galvanized sheet-iron, eleven feet 
four inches long, four feet eight inches wide, and three feet deep, 
weighing 225 pounds, which 
will hold six or seven per- 
sons. It is covered with a 
hatch, and has a few per- 
forations made in the top 
from the inside, which ad- 
mit air, while their raised 
edges exclude water. It is 
suspended on the hawser 
by bails and rings, to which 
are also attached the haul- 
ing-lines, all these ropes being arranged to it before the hawser 
is fastened behind tbe crotch. It is evident that, by pulling on one 
part of the hauling-line, the life-saving crew can send out the sus- 
pended life-car to the vessel above the surface of the sea, and, when 
it has received its load, draw it back to the shore by pulling on the 
other part. Its use has been uniformly successful, 201 persons hav- 
ing been saved by it from the immigrant ship Ayrshire at its first 

Fig. 10. Life-Car, with Hawser and Hahling-Lines. 



trial, in a sea which made boat service impossible and which utterly 
destroyed the vessel. Another mode of using the life-car is the follow- 
ing : By means of the shot-line, a single hauling-line, something more 
than the length of the distance of the wreck from the shore, is drawn 
on board, the end of it being made fast to a ring at one extremity of 
the life-car. To a ring at the other extremity a similar hauling-line is 
attached, the end of which remains on shore. By the first hauling- 
line the car is dragged out through the water, as a boat, by those on 
board, and, having received its load, is dragged back again through 
the water by the line handled by the men on land. This method of 
working the life-car is resorted to under certain exigencies, but is less 
desirable than the other, because, although the people it contains are 
safe, the car is liable to be turned over and over in its passage through 
the breakers, much to their discomfort. 

Fig. 11. Rescue by Breeches-Buoy. 

The large majority of the vessels now stranded upon our coasts 
being coasters (schooners and barks), with crews of from six to ten 
men, the breeches-buoy is more commonly used. This is a much 
lighter contrivance, and therefore easier to transport and handle, 
weighing only twenty-one pounds, and requiring for its use less heavy 


cordage, the difference in weight between the two with their append- 
ages amounting to over 500 pounds. It consists of a common circu- 
lar life-preserver of cork, seven and a half feet in circumference, to 
which short canvas breeches are attached. Four rope lanyards fast- 
ened to this circle of cork meet above in an iron ring, which is at- 
tached by a strap around a block, with composition sheaves, and is 

Fig. 12. Using the Breeches-Buoy with Hauling-Line without Hawser and Traveling 


called a traveler. The hawser passes through this block, and the sus- 
pended breeches-buoy is drawn between ship and shore by hauling- 
lines, like the life-car. At each trip it receives but one person, who 
gets into it, sitting, holding to the lanyards, sustained by the canvas 
saddle, with his legs dangling below, and is pulled swiftly ashore. 
When there is imminent danger of the breaking up of the vessel, 
and great haste is required for the rescue, the hawser is sometimes dis- 
pensed with, one part of the hauling-line being used for the buoy to 
travel upon. 

The apparatus having to be drawn by the men where horses are not 
accessible, a hand-cart is provided for this purpose, strongly built, with 
large wheels having five-inch tires to keep them as much as possible 
from sinking into the sand. The surf-boat is dragged in the same way 
on its carriage. 

A medicine-chest is furnished for each station. It contains wine 
and brandy, mustard plasters, volatile salts, probangs, and a few other 
simple remedies and appliances for reviving exhausted persons or aid- 
ing to restore those apparently drowned, printed directions for the use 
of which are pasted within the lid of each chest. A method of resus- 
citation is published in the regulations of the service, which is also 
practically taught to every member of the crews by the visiting sur- 
geon. The method is that of Dr. Benjamin Howard, of New York, 
with certain modifications by Dr. John M. Woodworth, late Supervis- 
ing Surgeon-General of the U. S. Marine Hospital Service. Its ex- 
treme simplicity of application and great general utility merit for it 
a particular description. It begins with the attempt to arouse the 
patient, who must not be removed, unless there is danger of his freez- 
ing, but his face exposed to the fresh air, the mouth and nostrils wiped 



dry, the clothing quickly ripped open so as to expose the chest and 
waist, and two or three quick, smarting slaps given upon the stomach 
and chest with the open hand. If the patient does not at once revive, 
a bit of wood or a cork is placed between his teeth to keep the mouth 
open, he is turned upon his face, a large bundle of tightly rolled cloth- 
ing is placed beneath the stomach, and the operator presses heavily 
upon his back over the bundle for half a minute, or as long as fluid 

Fig. 13. The First Step taken, by which the Chest is emptied of Aie, and the Ejection 

of Fluids is assisted. 

flows freely from his mouth. (See Fig. 13.) The mouth and throat 
are then cleared of mucus by introducing into the throat the end of a 
handkerchief wrapped closely around the forefinger ; the patient is 
turned upon his back, under which the roll of clothing is placed so as 
to raise the pit of the stomach above the level of any other part of the 
body. If an assistant is present, he holds the tip of the patient's 
tongue, with a piece of dry cloth, out of one corner of the mouth, 
which prevents the tongue from falling back and choking the entrance 
to the windpipe, and with his other hand grasps the patient's wrists 
and keeps the arms stretched back over the head, which increases the 
prominence of the ribs and tends to enlarge the chest. The operator 
then kneels astride the patient's hips and presses both hands below the 
pit of the stomach, with the balls of the thumb resting on each side of 
it and the fingers between the short ribs, so as to get a good grasp of 
the waist. (See Fig. 14.) He then throws his weight forward on his 
hands, squeezing the waist between them with a strong pressure, 
counts slowly one, two, three, and, with a final push, lets go, which 
springs him back to his first kneeling position. This operation, which 
converts the chest of the patient into a bellows, is continued at a rate 



gradually increased from four to fifteen times in a minute, and with 
the regularity observable in the natural motions of breathing which 
are thus imitated. If natural breathing is not restored in three or four 
minutes, the patient is turned a second time upon the stomach in an 
opposite direction from that in which he was first turned, the object 
being to free the air-passages from any remaining water. The artificial 

Fig. 14. Tiie Position and Action of the Operator in producing Artificial Respiration. 

respiration is then resumed and continued if necessary from one to four 
hours, or until the patient breathes, and when life appears the first short 
gasps are carefully aided by the same method. From the first, if as- 
sistants are present, the limbs of the patient are rubbed, always in an 
upward direction toward the body and with firmness and energy, the 
bare' hands being used, or dry flannels or handkerchiefs, and the fric- 
tion kept up under blankets, or over dry clothing. The warmth of the 
body is also promoted whenever possible by the application of hot flan- 
nels to the stomach and armpits, and bottles or bladders of hot water, 
or heated bricks, to the limbs and the soles of the feet. As soon as 
breathing is established, the patient is stripped of all wet clothing, 
wrapped in blankets only, put to bed comfortably warm, but with a 
free circulation of fresh air, and left to perfect rest. For the first hour 
a little hot brandy-and-water, or other stimulant, is given every ten or 
fifteen minutes, and as often afterward as may be expedient. After re- 
action is established the patient is in great danger of congestion of the 
lungs, and unless perfect rest is maintained for at least forty-eight 
hours he may be seized with difficulty of breathing, and death ensue if 
immediate relief is not afforded. In such cases a large mustard plaster 
is placed upon his chest, and, if he gasps for breath before the mustard 
takes effect, his breathing is assisted by the careful repetition of the ar- 
tificial respiration. In connection with this process the surfmen are 

VOL. XT. 13 

i 9 4 


instructed to consider the clinching of the jaws and semi-contraction 
of the fingers, which have been considered signs of death, to be on 
the contrary evidences of vitality, and to borrow from them hope and 
confidence for redoubled effort in the work of resuscitation. This is 
a discovery of Dr. Labordette, of the Hospital of Lisieux, in France. 
He found by numerous experiments that the jaws and hands relax 
when death ensues, rigor mortis supervening later. 

The Merriman life-saving suit is supplied to the stations, and often 
proves useful by enabling surfmen to effect rescues of individuals 
struggling in the breakers, and even to reach wrecks and assist be- 
numbed crews to set up the life-lines. It consists of footed pantaloons 
of India-rubber, and above the waist of a double ply of the same ma- 
terial covering all but the face, and inflated severally in breast, back, 
and head, between the plies, by three rubber tubes. Being thus buoy- 
ant, and also impervious to air, its wearer can neither drown nor freeze. 
Since its original introduction at the stations, the exploits of Paul Boy- 
ton have given it celebrity. 

Upon occasions of boat-service, the life-saving crews are required ' 
by regulation to wear the cork life-belts devised by Captain Ward, 
the Inspector of the Royal National Life-Boat Institution of Great 
Britain. These life-belts weigh severally only four and a half pounds ; 

Fig. 15. Life-saving Dress. 

Fig. 10 Cork Life-Belt. 

are flexible, being composed of a series of small blocks of cork strung 
together ; have crenellations under the arms, leaving those members 
unimpeded in action ; and, by rendering the surfmen secure from 
drowning, double their efficiency to assist others in case of exigency. 

The stations are opened for service on the seaboard from Septem- 
ber 1st to May 1st, or for a shorter period wherever deemed prudent, 


and on the Lakes from the opening to the close of navigation. Strict 
watch and ward is maintained during this period at the life-boat 
stations by lookout, and at the complete life-saving stations by patrol. 
The period between sunset and dawn is divided into watches, each 
kept by two men of the crew of six at the several stations. In con- 
formity with this routine, two men issue at sunset from each coast sta- 
tion. They carry beach lanterns and are provided with Coston signals, 
which are cylindrical cases of combustible materials, fitted into percus- 
sion holders. One man goes to the right, the other to the left, each 
continuing along the beach, keeping watch to seaward, until he meets 
a similar patrolman from the next station, when he returns to the 
starting-point, where he sets out again, keeping up his march until the 
term of his watch expires and that of the next patrol begins. Thus, 
every night, along the ocean beaches, in moonlight, starlight, thick 
darkness, driving tempest, wind, rain, snow, or hail, a file of sentinels 
is strung out, steadily marching, on the lookout for endangered ves- 
sels. The duty is arduous, often terrible. Storm tides flooding the 
beach, quicksands, the bewildering snowfall, overwhelming blasts, bit- 
ter cold, are often conditions to the journey. The residt is that, should 
a vessel strand, which usually takes place on some shoal or bar at from 
one to four hundred yards' distance from the beach, instead of being 
left unnoticed for many hours, to be torn to pieces by the furious surf, 
she is sure to be soon discovered by the patrolman. Seeing her, he at 
once strikes the bottom of his percussion holder, driving its spike into 
the Coston cartridge, which ignites with a fierce deflagration, redden- 
ing the darkness, and notifying those on board the wreck that they are 
seen. The patrolman then races to his station and brings the crew. 
The keeper knows by the state of the surf whether the boat can be 
used, or whether to resort to the life-car, or breeches-buoy. The boat 
always puts out if possible, this being the speediest mode of succor. 
If the surf be impassable, the wreck-gun casts its lariat over the wreck, 
the hawser and hauling-lines are set up, and the imperiled seafarers 
are drawn ashore. By whatever mode the rescue is effected, it involves 
hours of racking labor, protracted exposure to the roughest weather, 
and a mental and bodily strain under the spur of exigency and the 
curb of discipline which greatly exhausts the life-saving crews. In 
the case of the boat-service, whether by surf-boat or life-boat, tremen- 
dous perils are added to new hardships. The result of these gallant 
toils in the rigors of the winter beach' and the drench of the surf, since 
the date of original organization in 1871, has been extraordinary. Dur- 
ing this period of eight years statistics show that there have been, 
within the scope of life-saving operations, 6,287 persons imperiled on 
stranded vessels. Of these, 5,981 were saved, and only 306 lost 197 
of these at wrecks remote from stations, or at times when they were 
closed, and the others, in nearly every instance, under circumstano s 
which rendered human aid impossible. During this period the sta- 


tions have also given succor to 1,382 persons. Their crews have, more- 
over, notably performed wreckers' duty, and saved large amounts of 
marine property. The virtue of organization is attested by these re- 
sults, but large credit must always be given to the noble fidelity, capa- 
bility, and dauntless courage of the stout groups of seven who man 
the lonely stations. Wherever native manliness is held in honor, these 
heroic Pleiads of the seaboard beaches, and the gangs of nine who drive 
the life-boats through overwhelming seas upon the Lakes and the 
Pacific, with hearts greater than danger, can never fail of their meed. 



By Professor GAIRDNEE, 


I HAVE never gone into this matter professionally, or even as a 
scientific man, but have always on the other hand held that the 
duty of a physician toward these things was to have as little as pos- 
sible to do with them. But, still, in my career instances have come 
to my knowledge, and it was in consideration of all these that I was 
led to attempt to formulate a few nights ago the state of my mind 
upon the subject by saying and it is something like a distinct, and I 
think not an untrue and unintelligible definition that I call the state 
of mind of people inclined to spiritualism a diseased condition of the 
famlty of wonder. I hold that the faculty of wonder, or reverence, 
if you like to call it so, is an innate and necessary part of the human 
mind. Nay, more, it is one of the most essential, one of the most 
beneficial of all our endowments that faculty by which we grasp, by 
which we strive to a certain extent to comprehend, and, if we do not 
comprehend, submit ourselves to, and even delight in the unknown 
by which we strive to apprehend that which we can not comprehend. 
You will easily see that the higher aspect of this faculty of wonder is 
the basis of the whole of our religious aspirations. Therefore it can 
not be that I mean to denounce it to speak ill of it. But, like all 
our other faculties, this part of our mental constitution is liable to 
abnormal action in fact, to get into a state of disease. What I said 
of this faculty is, th^t, when it is rightly applied by a thoroughly 
healthy mind to the connection between the spiritual and the material 
world, it does or should find abundant opportunity for its exercise 
within the realms of strict law. I do not mean here to touch or raise 
the question whether there are what are called miracles connected with 

* Extract from a lecture to his class, on the subject of spiritualism. 


the spiritual world any more than in the physical world. That is 
beside my argument. My argument at present is simply this, that 
within the realm of law, clearly understood as such, there is food for 
the faculty of wonder in all its legitimate aspirations far more endur- 
ing, far greater, and far grander than anything that can be developed 
in the way of those communications of table-turning, table-rapping, or 
anything of that kind. And the instance I gave was just one out of 
endless instances to try and conceive of the manner in which the 
spirit of man, that which he knows to exist, and, in fact, to be himself 
his ego communicates through his nerves with his muscles how it 
is capable of being so minutely directed that along the lines of nervous 
communication it will arrive at a particular muscle or particular group 
of muscles, and perform all the complicated muscular acts which we 
know to be the physical and tangible results of the manifestations of 
our spirit. In other words, the most commonplace appearance of a 
spirit that you can name the most every-day manifestation in the 
world, and that which we are most certain of in our own consciousness 
is, when you come to think of it, an absolute and perfect mystery, 
which only becomes comprehensible to us because we know it to be a 
fact, and because it lies within the divine order of things. It is physi- 
ological. "What spiritism or spiritualism appears to require of us is, 
that having got our every-day consciousness of this matter for wonder 
having got all this marvelous adaptation of spirit to matter having 
a set of thoroughly organized and thoroughly known channels by 
which the spiritual world is revealed in the material, and by which the 
Great and Supreme Spirit is enabled to reveal himself to every one of 
us having, I say, got the absolute proof and evidence in our own 
souls and our own bodies of a set of laws appertaining to this matter, 
what spiritualism requires of us to do is to cast aside the whole of 
these laws, and to admit a set of interferences, not exceptional, not 
for grand and very, very exceptional objects, but a set of every-day 
constant interferences with the law of the action of spirit and matter 
as such, known to all of us interferences which are not only not in 
accordance with that law, but which are absolutely subversive of the 
ordinary results of that law. Just let us suppose this : Suppose it 
proved, once for all, that the spirit of a departed person a disem- 
bodied spirit, a spirit that is wandering in space, a spirit which is not 
limited by the conditions of matei'ial investment has the power to 
appear to you, and to reveal to you what is being done or written, or 
has been done by some friend of yours on the other side of the globe, 
or who has passed beyond the grave, and that it has had access to 
documents no mortal could have seen, what appears to be the neces- 
sary consequence of this doctrine ? This, among others, that no scrap 
of writing that no single act that a man does could be concealed, or 
at least could be perfectly sure of being concealed, from his neighbor 
from any man who may have the greatest possible interest in know- 


ing it, perhaps for a nefarious purpose. You write a document of the 
most private character ; you shut it up in a locked drawer ; it affects 
the character of many persons ; it would be treason to morality to 
publish that document in the newspapers. There is nothing to hinder, 
so far as we know the laws of this newly invented spirit world * 
there is nothing to hinder any disembodied spirits who are about from 
getting access to the paper, and having it published in the newspa- 
pers. But here I say on the other hand and this is the result of ex- 
perience it has been shown that this can not be done. 

Having alluded to the incident of a 100 note being left in a sealed 
envelope in the Bank of England, the owner having promised to give 
it up to any spiritualist who could tell the number, but for which no 
application was received, Professor Gairdner proceeded : It was in 
some way or other impossible, apparently, for the spirits, greater or 
less, although it was asserted that they were able to reveal the secrets 
of one man's heart to another, to read the number of that note in these 
circumstances. I say that it was not only in fact impossible, but I say 
this, that, had it in fact been possible, it would have shown a state of 
matters which, humanly speaking, would have been subversive of the 
divine order. It would have entirely destroyed that system of law 
by which we know that, in a way which is absolutely wonderful and 
absolutely inscrutable, spirit does communicate with matter, .as we 
know, every day of our lives in this world. The state of mind of the 
persons who come prepared to believe these things who come to the 
investigation of them with previously established ideas, who regard 
doubt or hesitation as I would say, a sin, but let us rather say an 
error, and a sure way of keeping manifestations back, while open- 
mouthed credulity is the only frame of mind in which to come to the 
investigation ; the state of mind of such persons who, I believe, may 
be numbered in thousands, and possibly in millions, in this country 
and in America is, to my idea, a diseased state of mind. I admit 
fully that many of these persons are apparently able to conduct their 
own affairs. I freely admit that many of them are very moral and 
well-intentioned persons. I am equally inclined to believe that this 
Mr. Allan Kardec, within certain limits which I can not attempt to 
define, was a truthful man. But that does not hinder me from be- 
lieving that there is disease at the bottom of these things, and it is a 
disease of the faculty of wonder, by which that faculty, intended for 
the noblest purposes in the organization of the human mind, is per- 
verted to some of the lowest of all purposes, and even to the abetting 

* The preceding portion of the lecture shows by extracts from the works of spiritual- 
ists, and especially of Allan Kardec, that according to these authorities lying, mischiev- 
ous, and impish spirits everywhere abound, and are permitted to play their pranks freely 
for the delusion of those who are willing to 1>c deluded ; whereby the thorough going 
'spiritualist finds no difficulty in explaining, according to his theory, proved instances of 
absurdity or imposture. 


of trickery. One other thing I had on my lips to say the other night, 
but I did not say it then, and I am not quite sure that I should do so 
now ; therefore I can only indicate it very slightly. It is that this 
conclusion as to the diseased nature of these manifestations, so far as 
the mind of the recipient is concerned, was impressed upon me at a 
very early period during the epidemic of manifestations of electro- 
biology as it was called then in 1851 in Edinburgh. I had a dear 
friend, since dead, and dead under circumstances that no injury to 
him or any one else can be brought about by telling the story. He 
was of a bad constitution originally. He had entered on the study of 
medicine, and with such ardor had he taken up the branch of physi- 
ology that I regarded him as likely to be one of the greatest physi- 
ological inquirers of the day. I had not only respect for him as one 
of my pupils, but I had for him a feeling of regard and love. He was 
drawn into the vortex of Dr. Gregory's drawing-room exhibitions, and 
his case appears in Dr. Gregory's book ; I knew it was disease ; I felt 
it was disease. He was made to go out- of himself ; he was made to 
wander here, there, and everywhere ; he was made to converse with 
all the philosophers of ancient Greece with Aristotle, with Socrates, 
and with Plato, and to tell what they said to him. He then took a 
somewhat serious illness, and I became his medical attendant, and for 
a time he was under my care alone. The persons who had obtained 
this strange influence over him still kept coming about him, but at last 
I had to forbid their presence. He got over his illness, and became 
so far better, and they then again attempted to catch him, but failed. 
Their power had gone, or almost gone, and only the poorer class of 
manifestations could be produced, and ultimately none of them could 
be produced, and for a considerable time after that he continued in 
better health. But the essentially diseased character of the whole 
thing was plain from this, that within a year or two he showed mani- 
festations of actual insanity. The poor fellow excited my sympathy, 
and I made an effort to save him. I took him to London, got him to 
apply himself to histology, and tried to excite all his better and scien- 
tific predilections. But the morbid tendency was too strong, and ulti- 
mately he ended his days within the walls of an asylum. I do not 
mean to say that Dr. Gregory made him mad. That would be wrong. 
I do not think that was so, because he was better for a good while 
after that, but I mean to say that the tendency of these things in a 
constitution hereditarily predisposed to insanity is to insanity, or as 
Shakespeare has put it in the mouth of King Lear, when conscious 
that he is himself upon the giddy verge, " That way madness lies." 




THE heaviest tax that can be imposed upon a nation is one that is 
paid in human lives. From whatever point of view the subject 
may be regarded, this conclusion is irresistible. If we look at it ac- 
cording to purely economical considerations, we may obtain very 
remarkable results. It has been estimated that an actual money cost 
of 300 is incurred in raising a boy, cradled among the poorest classes, 
from birth to manhood. It does not require us to ascend very high in 
the social scale before we find that this estimate must be trebled. If 
we take what we may call the cost price of the human unit at any 
definite time, say at 500 on arriving at maturity, the producing power 
of the unit in question will bear some relation to that sum ; the more 
costly and careful education producing, as a rule, the more valuable 
result, as to productive power. If the laborer who earns 14s. or 15s. a 
week adds 50 per annum to the wealth of the country, the physician, 
the scientific military or naval officer, the barrister, or the engineer, 
may look forward to the time when his yearly labor will be worth 
more than a hundred times that amount, even if appraised only by the 
price he is actually paid for his time. Taking any producing indi- 
vidual, whether valued at 50 or at 5,000 per annum, at any period 
of his career, no income tax to which he can be subjected can approach 
in its pressure the extravagant tax of death, For the payment of that 
tax at once annihilates the total earning power of which there was, 
until that moment, a fair mathematical expectation. 

The tax upon human life which is caused by war is one as to which 
philosophers and philanthropists have long written, and as to which 
generation after generation has complacently declared its own advance 
on its barbarous ancestors ; although generation after generation has 
too often seen increasing holocausts offered on the altar of battle, with 
continually less and less excuse the word justification it is too often 
but a mockery to use. We have seen, not so very long ago, that peace 
has its death tax as well as war. And we wish to call attention to a 
tax of this nature which, as far back as statistics have been collected, 
appears to be paid in this country with a grim and appalling regu- 

Regularity, that is to say, when viewed in the light of statistical 
returns. From any other point of view the deaths of which we speak 
occur with the most frightful and unexpected caprice. There may be 
a period of months during which none of the calamities which quietly 
occur are brought under public notice. Then there may be a terrific 
telegram, and an announcement in the largest letters used by the daily 
press, " Frightful calamity at a coal mine sixty lives lost ! " Again, 



at another time, three or four minor calamities occur on the same day, 
at different spots ; or within a few hours or days of one another. The 
public is, no doubt, deeply moved by these announcements. Free and 
charitable aid never fails to be forthcoming for the widowed and or- 
phaned survivors of a colliery massacre. The question is ever newly 
raised, " Can nothing be done to prevent these terrible disasters ? " 
Legislators try their hands at prevention. Men of science try their 
hands at prevention. It is pointed out authoritatively that much of 
the loss of life thus occurring is preventable loss. Robert Stephenson, 
when admittedly standing at the head of his profession, being himself 
a large colliery owner, and having for several years of his life had to 
descend a coal-pit at 4 a. m. daily, to visit all the workings of the mine, 
declared that there was hardly a colliery in England that might not be 
worked with perfect safety from explosions ; and pointed out that the 
great means for insuring safety was to quadruple the shaft area in 
every colliery. And yet the slaughter goes on ! In 1864 it was at its 
minimum. Only 857 lives destroyed in coal mines are reported for 
that year, being at the rate of a human life for every 110,000 tons of 
coal raised. In 1866 it attained its maximum, the lives lost amounting 
to 1,484, or one for every 68,000 tons of coal. From 1861 to 1875 in- 
clusive, 15,908 lives were lost in raising 1,608,576,193 tons of coal, 
being very nearly a thousand deaths in each year. Roughly speaking, 
the life tax is at the rate of a life per 100,000 tons of coal. 

The comparison of the number of men employed, of tons of coal 
raised, and of lives lost, year by year does not appear to throw much 
light on the subject. Such a comparison, indeed, shows a steady de- 
cline in the industrial and productive power of the colliers. But no 
relation is discernible between the out-put per man, taken as indicating 
either the number of hours worked on the average, or the industry 
exerted in these hours, and the death rate. From 1861 to 1866 
occurred a steady increase in the productive power, not only of the 
collieries of Great Britain, but of the individual colliers. In 1861 the 
total yield of 86,039,211 tons of coal was produced by 282,473 men, 
being at the rate of 305 tons of coal per man. In 1866 the yield had 
risen to 315 tons per man, and in 1870 to 321 tons per man. From 
this year the productive power of the miners has decreased, although 
that of the collieries has continued to advance. In 1874 each miner 
only raised 249 tons of coal. In 1875, 133,306,486 tons of coal were 
raised by 525,843 men, being at the rate of 253 tons apiece. Thirty 
years previously, in 1845, the number of tons of coal raised in the year 
was 31,500,000. An increase to a fourfold amount, when the figures 
attained are so large, is probably without a parallel in productive in- 
dustry. In 1840 about 700 collier vessels were employed in the Lon- 
don trade. Their average cargoes were 220 tons. In 1876 the fuel 
shipped to foreign countries amounted to 16,299,077 tons, and that sent 
coastwise to 11,015,178 tons. 


At the time when the details of the coastwise coal trade were dis- 
cussed by the Institution of Civil Engineers, in the presence of Mr. 
Robert Stephenson, in 1855, so little was it anticipated that railway 
conveyance would compete with the sea-borne traffic in coal for long 
distances, that the possibility was not even suggested in the debate. 
The Great Northern Railway was then open to Doncaster, and the 
coals conveyed over the line were enough to make the gross weight 
passed over the up lines as 1*74 to 1, the cost of maintenance being as 
1*98 to 1. Mr. Carr observed that more damage was done to the per- 
manent way, as might be supposed, by the extreme loads of the coal 
trains than by ordinary goods and passenger trains, and said that " this 
would account for the deterioration increasing more rapidly than the 
tonnage." Mr. Stephenson stated that the wear and tear of the way 
was proportionate to the number of pairs of wheels that ran over it, 
and to the weight on those wheels ; and declared on another occasion 
that he could not, as a man of honor, be a party to the carrying of his 
own Clay Cross coals on the London and Northwestern Railway, at 
the freight of one halfpenny per ton per mile, as such a rate was in- 
jurious to the railway company. 

To return to the casualties of the coal mines. The most terrific 
form of destruction, that of explosion, is not the most fatal, numeri- 
cally regarded. Taking an average of fifteen years, twenty per cent, 
of the fatal casualties were attributable to explosions, thirty-three per 
cent, to falls of coal and of roof, fifteen per cent, to shaft accidents, 
and the rest to miscellaneous causes. Thus of the tax of ten lives per 
million tons of coals, the fifth part, or two lives per million tons, may 
be regarded as deaths that are certainly preventable by the due en- 
forcement of those provisions which the mining engineer decides to 
be proper. In the years 1867-'69 the mortality from explosions 
amounted to twenty-nine per cent, of the whole. The general average 
for those years shows a death rate of one life per 84,000 tons of coal ; 
so that Ave may regard the effect of the precautionary measures taken 
by the Legislature as having effected a saving of about a third of the 
number of human lives that would otherwise have fallen victims to 

The question not unnaturally arises, "What is the real cause that 
leads the miner to affront a peril of this frightful magnitude ? It is 
all very well to speak of recklessness of life, of objection to innova- 
tion, of ignorance of scientific principles, and the like, but those who 
are most familiar with the working classes will be the least disposed to 
admit that the true knot of the question can thus be cut. It requires 
no instruction in chemistry for the miner to be made acquainted with 
the fact that the vapor (if we must not use the word gas) that be sees 
burning brightly as it issues from the coals in his kitchen fire is apt to 
issue from the face of certain coal mines, and that it will take fire in 
the mine as readily as in the grate. He may not be, and probably is 


not, aware that this fire-damp is composed of about one third hydro- 
gen and two thirds carbon. He may be ignorant that the proportions 
of admixture of fire-damp with ordinary air which are such as to cause 
explosion are, when the former is more than one fourth, and less than 
one sixteenth, of the quantity of the latter. But he knows that when 
he enters a fiery mine his life is in his hand, lie may not know that 
the barometer indicates a more or less dangerous condition, as a rule, 
in every fiery mine. But he does know that any blow of his pick may 
open a "blower," or jet of fire-damp, in the mine ; that if this jet 
meets a naked light it will take fire ; and that unless the ventilation 
sweeping through the mine be such as to maintain a complete control 
over the issue of the fire-damp, which is always to a certain extent go- 
ing on, the workings will be wrapped in a blast of flame, and none will 
be left alive to tell how it occurs. He knows, too, that the " Geordie," 
the invention of an old miner, whose name should be held in honor by 
the British workman as that of a family saint or household god, in- 
stead of setting the "fire-jack" alight, will indicate its presence by a 
harmless explosion within its own tube, and will then become extin- 
guished. Or if the mine in which he works be one in which the 
" Davy " lamp is used, instead of the " Geordie," he knows that the 
little cage of wire gauze will become filled with flame if placed near a 
" blower " or held in the top of a working where there is too much gas 
to be safe, but that the flame will not pass through the meshes of the 
protecting shield. His is not the class of mind which can be brought 
to regard the safety-lamp as a talisman, giving protection to the miner 
who works with a naked light close by his fire-proof companion. It is 
more than probable that the increased safety from explosions to which 
we have referred may be mainly, if not altogether, due to the action of 
the Government inspectors in preventing the use of powder in fiery 
mines. Where blasting is allowed, the onus of responsibility is taken 
from the shoulders of the miner, and thrown on those of the superin- 
tendent. But, in the last two terrible casualties which have brought 
desolation to so many homes in the Black Country, there has been no 
question of blasting. A sudden outpour of fire-damp must, in each of 
these cases, have come in contact with a naked light. In cases where 
no miner has been left alive to tell the tale, there has often been found 
a mute but unimpeachable witness. A lamp has been found unlocked, 
a candle half burned, a box of matches half consumed. One or more 
of the miners, in spite of regulation, in spite of inspection, in' spite of 
peril of his life, has had a naked light in his possession. What can 
have induced him to run the risk ? 

It is not surprising that the question should have proved utterly 
insoluble to those who have never been underground ; nay, more, to 
those who have never worked underground. In the absence of that 
personal experience which throws a very strong ray of light on the 
obscurity of the question, it is easy to take a leaf out of the book of a 


certain group of teachers, and throw the whole blame on the " deprav- 
ity of human nature." True, it is not conducive to delicacy of feeling 
or to accuracy of scientific perception to toil for hours together in the 
Cimmerian gloom of the coal mine. Very little idea can be formed, 
by forty-nine fiftieths of the population of this country, of the cost of 
human toil at which their houses are kept warm and bright. Espe- 
cially when the coal is worked in thin beds is the toil of the miner all 
but intolerable. In some instances he actually lies full length on the 
floor of the working, clad in nothing but a scanty pair of drawers, 
working with his pick a little in advance of his head as he lies. Nor 
does he cast off the badge of toil when he returns to the light of day. 
The other day a colonel in the army, a man deeply interested in all 
mechanical and scientific improvement, who was staying in one of the 
great mining centers, happened to go to a public establishment in the 
town in order to take a Turkish bath. While he was waiting for his 
room, two miners came out, who had been enjoying that unusual lux- 
ury. " I say, Jack," said one of them, " Moll won't know me. She 
never saw my skin white." His wife had never seen him washed, ex- 
cept his face. This may be an extreme case ; as in some of the "Welsh 
districts the " tubbing " of the men on the Saturday night takes place 
before the doors of their houses. But we give the incident as it actu- 
ally occurred. 

But pass all this. Let us attribute to the miner as extravagant a 
perversity of nature as the most zealous missionary can insist upon 
he is at all events something better than a beast. Even a beast has 
the instinct of self-preservation. In man it is, there can be no denial, 
usually the very keenest of his instincts. And whatever the miner 
may know, and of whatever he may be ignorant, from his first appren- 
ticeship underground he has had held up to his imagination the fear- 
ful and ever-present peril of the fire-damp. Abuse him as we may 
and for our own part we should be very sorry to speak of him in any 
terms but those of cordial respect we have not got a single step on 
our journey toward the solution of the question, What makes him run 
a risk that he knows to be hazardous ? 

Reader, have you ever been underground not for amusement or 
out of curiosity, but in the discharge of your duty ? If so, have you 
ever been alone underground, in a solitary point of the workings ? 
And, if so, have you ever, by any accident, found yourself left in total 
darkness. The writer has had this experience, and it is one that leads 
him to speak with somewhat more of human sympathy for the collier 
than might be natural for a literary man who is not also a workman. 

The oppression of utter darkness on the human organization is ter- 
rible. And hardly less than the oppression of utter darkness is the 
irritation produced by inadequate light. When, as they begin to 
number seven times seven years, the gradual diminution in the focal 
length of the vision often suffers a rather rapid increase, persons who 


have had the disagreeable experience know that the first intimation 
that they must have recourse to spectacles is one of the most painful 
experiences of ordinary human life. At all times the want of suffi- 
cient light to see by is a hard trial. The more need there is of atten- 
tive vision, or the more the eye perceives the failing of its own power, 
the more intolerable is the hardship. Now, in mining the attention 
has to be kept vividly directed to the effect of every blow of the pick. 
There are many kinds of work which can be done with but little 
exertion of eyesight. Mining is not one of them. In a fair face of 
coal the operation of " getting," as it is called, may be a straightfor- 
ward one ; but this is far from being always the case. We have seen, 
too, that it is not always to the face of the coal that the chief care of 
the miner has to be directed. One third of the lives lost are due to 
falls, of face or of roof. With every blow of the miner's pick that 
danger has to be borne in mind. It is a danger increased tenfold by 
obscurity. The experience of our public works is enough to prove 
that, if the workings of our mines could be made as light as day, both 
shaft accidents and accidents from fall of roof would be enormously 
diminished in number. Does the reader know how the miner has to 
ascertain whether the roof is coming in upon him, or whether the 
" creep " from below is overpowering his hastily fixed props and poll- 
ing boards ? We can tell him from experience. 

A piece of damp clay is, or should be, always at hand in a mine. 
Frequently it is to be met with in the workings. If not, some should 
always be brought down. In cases where there is no fear of explosion, 
and indeed in all cases fifty years ago, a bit of wet clay forms the 
usual miner's candlestick. In cases where luxury is studied, a bit of 
wood with a hole in it carries the " farthing dip." But even this fas- 
tidious candlestick, if it has to be set down on the ground, is made 
secure from a casual overset by a dab of wet clay. Now, if any un- 
due cracking is heard in the timbers, or if a rattle from above gives 
warning that the roof is not altogether in a stable condition, what 
does the miner do ? He smears a bit of wet clay into any crack that 
he observes in a prop, polling board, or junction of the timbering of 
the mine, and then quietly watches, to see whether the damp clay 
cracks. If not, it is probable that the timbering is sufficient for its 
work. If it does, the timbering has, in all haste, to be strengthened. 
Peril of life is on the one hand, anxiety to see as clearly as possible on 
the other. The miserable ray thrown by the miner's lamp seems only 
to mock his anxiety. Is there any wonder if he affronts the more dis- 
tant peril in his desire to avoid the more threatening one ? His nose, 
he may think, will give him timely warning of the neighborhood of 
"fire-jack." To guard against the more fatal danger of roof-fall he 
has only his eyes. Is there any wonder that he seeks for more light, 
even at the risk of a naked flame ? 

We do not, of course, for a moment intimate that it is only for the 


sake of looking to the safety of the roof that the miner has a naked 
light when he ought not to have one. But we think that there is little 
doubt that such is often the case. And we mention this only as one 
of those countless occasions, known only to those who have had sub- 
terranean experience, in which the desire for more light than that 
afforded by the ordinary safety-lamp may become uncontrollable. 
Our argument is, that some strong instinct of human nature must be 
at work in order to lead the miner to affront the known danger of 
explosion from the use of naked lights so frequently as we have but 
too much evidence that he is in the habit of doing. And we think 
that there is enough to account for this in the instinctive desire for 
light, and more especially in the maddening effect of obscurity when 
accuracy of vision is required. 

If we have thus rightly judged, the first effect of the remark should 
be to remove a very heavy load of obloquy under which our colliers as 
a body have hitherto labored. More than that, the more any public 
writer has been acquainted with the chemistry of the coal mine, the 
louder has usually been his condemnation of the recklessness of the 
miner. No doubt, from the chemist's point of view, there is but too 
much reason for this. Avoid naked light and avoid blasting, and you 
avoid explosion. This logic is undeniable. But the chemistry of the 
mine is not the matter which most directly presses upon the miner. 
The mechanic, the physiologist, the optician, each has to be consulted. 
Grim fact shows that the chemical danger is, and always has been, 
affronted. The need of light explains why this has been the case. 
What, then, is the outcome of the whole inquiry ? 

It is this : The miner requires light. It is now half a century 
since science has done much to aid him in this respect. It was in or 
about the year 1815 that Sir Humphry Davy and George Stephenson 
entered on their honorable rivalry as to the safety-lamp. Foreign en- 
gineers have provided, in the lamps used in the deep Belgian mines, 
a sort of compound of the " Geordie " and the " Davy," under the 
name of the Mueseler lamp. MM. Liaute and Denoyel have invented 
an electric lamp, perfect as a scientific toy, but too cumbersome and 
liable to derangement for the rough usage of the miner. What is re- 
quired is a lamp which shall at the same time give abundant light and 
afford perfect protection. It must not be cumbersome ; it must not 
be heavy ; it must not be costly. Miners have been known to dash 
in pieces the Upton and Roberts safety-lamp, merely from the irrita- 
tion caused by its weight. If the miner can be provided with a lamp 
which, with the safety and the convenience of the " Davy," can give the 
light of eight or ten candles, can throw that light where it is wanted, 
and can do that at a moderate cost, the saving of life in our coal mines 
will be very great. For, by such an appliance, not only may the mor- 
tality caused by explosions be prevented, but that due to falls of roof, 
if not to other causes, may be most materially diminished. 


This points to the inquiry, What is the true source of light ? From 
what materials, as matter of principle, and apart from any question of 
the state of the science of illumination at the moment, is artificial lisht 
more certainly to be obtained ? 

To that question the reply is simple. We know, as matter of 
chemistry, what kind of combustion produces the greatest amount of 
light, as we also know what produces the greatest amount of heat. 
The two are by no means identical. Light can not be produced with- 
out the liberation of heat. On the other hand, a very high degree of 
heat can be developed when, little or no light is produced. As matter 
of principle, this is the key to the question now to be reviewed. 

We need not at the moment step aside to inquire into the future 
of the electric light. As to the cost at. which that elegant source of 
concentrated brilliancy may be maintained, we are in the way of hav- 
ing experimental proof. The first great trial in London, that of the 
Jablochkoff candles at Billingsgate Market, has proved a failure, as 
regards both the quantity and the quality of the light produced, as 
well as with reference to the cost of production, and has in conse- 
quence been abandoned. But, be the cost of producing an equal quan- 
tity of light by the new or the old fashioned process of combustion 
the greater, the former is out of the question as far as coal mines are 
concerned. A brilliant light at the bottom of the shaft would of course 
be a great desideratum. But no one who has studied the plan of the 
workings of a coal mine can fail to be aware that nothing will super- 
sede the miner's lamp. Each man who works at the face must be pro- 
vided with his own light ; and no general illumination, were such 
possible, would make up for the want of this. In vast underground 
caverns, such as that of the Peak, in Derbyshire, or such as those of 
some of the Cheshire salt mines, a brilliant and concentrated light 
may, no doubt, be extremely effective. But in speaking of the work- 
ing of collieries, whether in the " long wall " system or on any modifi- 
cation of the " pillar and stall," we must look to such a lamp as each 
miner can carry for himself. 

In speaking of illumination, we are as yet without any unit of 
light. Our measurements in this respect are made pretty much by 
rule of thumb. The sperm candle, burning or supposed to burn at the 
rate of one hundred and twenty grammes per hour, is our nominal unit. 
In ascertaining the illuminative power of gas, two of these candles are 
used by way of measure. But there is no check as to the accuracy of 
their consumption. The use of a screen made diaphanous in one por- 
tion by a little grease enables the analyst to form a very accurate 
appreciation of the illuminative power of two lights. The screen is 
placed between the two, and moved backward or forward until the 
spot caused by the grease vanishes, which is the case when the inten- 
sity of the transmitted is exactly equal to that of the reflected light. 
By accurately measuring the distances, and applying the rule that the 


intensity of the radiant center is inversely proportionate to the square 
of the distance from the screen, a very reliable comparison is attain- 
able. But the weak point is the variable and ill-defined character of 
the unit of comparison. In the French experiments this defect is to a 
great extent avoided by the use of a Carcel lamp, which not only is 
intended to consume a given quantity of oil per hour, but is further 
weighed at the commencement and at the close of each observation, so 
that a correction is made in case of any variation in the actual com- 
bustion. Still, the Carcel lamp is an arbitrary unit. It is equal to 
about 9/6 English standard sperm candles ; but when we have said 
that, we have only compared one arbitrary unit with another. In the 
case of the unit of heat, although it has been arrived at in terms of 
capacity (as regards the water heated) and of Fahrenheit's thermome- 
ter, which is in itself an arbitrary scale, it so happens that the Joule 
equivalent is exactly equal to the quantity of heat that is liberated by 
the combustion (if chemically perfect) of half a grain of carbon. If 
we take the same unit for the measurement of light, it must further 
be specified that the combustion of the carbon must be so effected as 
to produce carbonic acid and not carbonic oxide, and that it must take 
place in atmospheric air, and not in pure oxygen, or any other medium. 
That being borne in mind, it is probable that the combustion of a defi- 
nite quantity of carbon would prove a better measure of light than 
any that has yet been tried. It would, at all events, link the phenom- 
ena of luminiferous to those of calorific combustion, and afford a 
ready means of detecting waste of illuminative power. 

Various analyses have been given of ordinary coal-gas. Indeed, 
not only does that gas vary according to the quality of the coal from 
which it is- produced, but it differs according to the process by which 
it is produced from coal of the same quality. Experts are divided, 
for example, as to the degrees of heat at which it is best to effect the 
distillation of coal-gas. But for our present inquiry it is enough to 
assume the composition of coal-gas as analyzed by Mr. Vernon Har- 
court, who gives the proportions of fifty-eight per cent, of carbon and 
twenty-three per cent, of hydrogen. The details are given by Mr. D. 
K. Clark, in his invaluable work, the " Manual of Rules, Tables, and 
Data for Mechanical Engineers." Of this gas thirty cubic feet, at the 
temperature of 62 Fahr., weigh one pound. And the heating power 
of one pound of this gas (chemically speaking) is given by the same 
analyst at 22,684 British units of heat, of which sixty- three per cent. 
is due to the combustion of the hydrogen, and thirty-seven per cent, 
to that of the carbon. It thus follows that coal-gas is far more highly 
effective as a fuel than it is as a source of illumination. Other analy- 
ses give a yet higher proportion of hydrogen, the heat-giving element. 

There is, however, a mineral fuel in which this distribution of the 
elements is very different. Petroleum is a natural fluid, consisting of 
hydrogen and carbon, which has been distilled in the great laboratory 


of nature, and which exists in large qxiantities in various parts of the 
world. It is, comparatively speaking, a very recent discovery. The 
first well was sunk in Pennsylvania in 1858. The first " flowing well," 
or bore hole from which the rock oil flows naturally, dates in 1861. 
From that date the annual production has increased with marvelous 
rapidity. In 1878 it was computed that several hundred million gal- 
lons were annually raised, although only about one-half per cent, of 
the 2,000 square miles of area in which the mineral oil is to be found 
was then worked. The oil is also known to exist in Virginia, in Ohio, 
in Kentucky, in California, in Canada, in South America, in China, in 
Japan, in Java, on the north coast of Africa, in Italy, France, Austria, 
Wallachia, Turkey, and Russia. There is every reason to suppose 
that an unfailing supply might be obtained by boring in the valley of 
the Jordan, in which rapid stream masses of bitumen are often found 
borne down to the salt waters of the Dead Sea. On the shores of the 
Caspian it is found in such abundance that it is used as fuel for steam- 
ers. At Cheeriley, about twenty-five miles to the west of Kertch, it 
is stated by Mr. Ross * that there are five wells owned by an English- 
man, two of which produce about one hundred and thirty-five barrels 
of petroleum daily. Bitumen and bituminous shales producing oil are 
to be found in every country of Europe, and there is good reason to 
suppose that the existing stores of the liquid mineral are no less ample 
than those of the solid beds of coal. 

As to cost, the crude petroleum oil is sold at the mouth of the wells, 
in Pennsylvania, at from 10s. to 15s. per ton, or from \d. to f d. per 
gallon. The refined petroleum at New York is worth about Qd. per 
gallon, but half of this is the price of the casks or other vessels that 
contain it. If a large and steady demand were to set up, it would be 
easy to construct ships of which the hold should be composed of a 
series of air-tight compartments, in wrought iron, into which the oil 
might be turned directly by means of mains, like gas or water mains 
in our cities, and from which it might be pumped on its arrival in the 
Thames or in the Mersey. The cost of the delivery of this liquid fuel 
may thus be expected to be, hereafter, less per ton than that of coal. 
It only needs the first expense, that of sinking the shaft. It will then 
mine itself, raise itself, carry itself, and may be made to load itself on 
shipboard. As to the cost of the process of refinement, we are with- 
out adequate information. But, in the event of a brisk demand for the 
refined oil, there can be little doubt that the usual course of manufac- 
turing industry would be followed, and that an economical method 
would be applied. 

It is thus of interest to compare the respective properties of coal, 
coal-gas, and petroleum, both as regards their lighting and their heat- 
ing capacities, as far as the present state of definite scientific informa- 
tion attainable will allow us to do so. 

* "Minutes of Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers," vol. xl., p. 150. 
vol. xv. 14 


Coal has now receded in England to the old minimum price of 4s. 
Qd. at the pit's mouth. Some of our northern railways are paying 6s. 
a ton for coal. The price of the best Wall's End coal delivered at 
private residences in London, at the end of January, 1879, was 29s. 
per ton. Thus, even in the three hundred miles which divide the me- 
tropolis from the pit's mouth, it will he seen that the price of coal is so 
regulated by local conditions, and distance from the collieries, that it is 
not easy to strike an average. We may therefore assume a price, 
equal to that of petroleum, of 10s. per ton, for the sake of comparison, 
and it will then be easy to apply the correction due to the price of coal 
in any particular spot. The undetermined charges for interest on capi- 
tal, merchants' profits, and delivery to consumers, may also be roundly 
taken, for the sake of comparison, as equal for the diiferent materials. 

The cost of the manufacture and distribution of gas in London 
(exclusive of the cost of coal) is about twenty per cent, over the amount 
realized for the sale of the residual products of distillation, of course 
excluding the gas. 10,000 cubic feet of gas per ton is a high, though 
not the highest, production. The price of the residual products, as a 
rule, is - so far regulated by the price of coal at the spot, that it is usu- 
ally reckoned that the local price of gas in England is nearly inde- 
pendent of the local variation in the price of coal, sales balancing pur- 
chases. Thus, if we take 10,000 cubic feet of gas as costing the same 
as one ton of coal, we shall be within twenty or twenty-five per cent, 
of exactitude, as a general rule. We have, then, to compare the lumi- 
niferous and calorific value of a ton of coal, a ton of petroleum, and 
10,000 feet of cubic gas, assuming the approximate price of each of 
these quantities to be equal. 

For lighting purposes, indeed, coal is nowhere. It has been occa- 
sionally used for giving light on public works, such as railways, when 
it was necessary to carry them on by night. But the light of a "devil," 
or iron basket of live coals, is fitful and costly. As recently as 1815 
the dangerous Bell Rock, at the entrance to the Firth of Tay, was 
lighted by a fire-basket, or " chauffer," of live coals. It is stated in 
the "Life of Robert Stevenson," the great lighthouse engineer, that 
the consumption of coal in this " chauffer " was four hundred tons per 
annum, while the light was never reliable when most required. In 
violent gales the coal never burned on the windward side of the fire ; 
and the guardian actually laid hold of the bars of the " chauffer," on 
the windward, to steady himself Avhile putting on more fuel. Thus, in 
the direction where, and at the time when, the light was most required, 
it was all but totally invisible. The gas requisite to maintain a light 
equal to one hundred Carcel burners, or nine hundred and sixty candles, 
for twelve hours, is producible from half a ton of coal, as distilled in 
the gas-works. This would yield a splendid light (if the locality were 
such as to allow of its introduction) ; while the consumption of twenty- 
two hundred weight per night of coal only made darkness visible. 


As to the calorific properties of coal, it is well known that the 
theoretic quantity of heat that should be chemically liberated by the 
consumption of a given quantity of that fuel is more than ten times as 
much as that which is ordinarily obtained, even by well-constructed 
steam-boilers. For a pound of coal to evaporate eight pounds of 
water may be taken as a very favorable average. In domestic con- 
sumption there is nothing approaching to this economy of heat. A 
considerable quantity of unburned carbon passes up the chimney in 
the form of smoke ; and probably three fourths of the heat actually 
liberated by combustion is carried off in the same manner by the 

According to the experiments made by Mr. Vernon Harcourt, be- 
fore referred to as quoted by Mr. D. K. Clark in his " Manual of Rules, 
Tables, and Data," a pound of gas, with a volume of thirty cubic feet, 
will evaporate thirty pounds of water from 212, or 21*4 pounds from 
62. This gas is reckoned at 9,000 cubic feet to the ton of coal ; so 
that the evaporation (of one pound of water by one cubic foot of gas) 
is effected by the quantity of the latter derived from almost exactly 
a quarter of a pound of coal. At the more ordinary allowance of 
10,000 cubic feet per ton, -224 pound of coal yields a foot of gas. It 
has to be borne in mind that only about thirty-six per cent, of the coal 
ordinarily used for gas is volatilized in the process of distillation. Of 
the coke, which is the chief residual product, from fifty-eight to ninety- 
three per cent, is carbon ; sulphur and other impurities going to make 
up the rest of the bulk. There are produced on the average thirteen and 
one-half hundred weight of coke, and ten gallons of tar, from a ton of 
coals, besides the gas. The calorific and luminiferous values of these 
residual products are thus much greater than that of the gas itself. 
But a better use can be made of tar than to burn it ; and we have 
considered the value of these products as absorbed by the cost of the 
process of making gas. 

With these qualifications, the calorific effect of the gas produced 
from a pound of coal is about half that which would be produced by 
the burning of a pound of coal under a well-constructed boiler, where 
of course both coke and tar are consumed together with the gas. But 
in cases of domestic consumption the economy in the use of gas will 
be immense. There is no waste, no smoke. Instead of seventy-five 
per cent, of the heat going up the chimney, nearly all will be directly 
utilized. There is no loss of heat in lighting the fire ; none in cooling 
when the work is done ; no labor in the carriage of coal to the furnace ; 
none in the removal of the ashes. Bearing: in mind all these sources 
of economy, the domestic use of gas for heating purposes is so advan- 
tageous that it is extraordinary that the introduction of so clean, 
cheap, and manageable a source of comfort should make such slow 
progress in England. In America the improvement is more rapid and 
more general. 


For luminif erous purposes we have seen that there is no comparison 
between the consumption of crude coal and that of coal-gas. Allowing 
the mean proportion of 10,000 cubic feet of gas to the ton of coal 
which we have before taken, the consumption of an ordinary gas- 
burner, whether an argand or a fish-tail, is about five cubic feet per 
hour, giving a light of from twelve to sixteen candles, according to 
the richness of the gas. If we take Mr. Vernon Harcourt's analysis, 
thirty cubic feet, or one pound of gas, contains 4,060 grains of carbon. 
Five cubic feet therefore contain 67 - 6 grains, which will be the hourly 
consumption of pure carbon in an ordinary gas-light. 

Petroleum, however, contains from eighty-two to eighty-seven per 
cent, of carbon, and from eleven to fifteen per cent, of hydrogen. 
Averaging this at eighty-four per cent, of the former and thirteen of 
the latter, a pound of petroleum contains 6,080 grains of carbon and 
910 grains of hydrogen. Its luminif erous power is thus almost exactly 
fifteen times that of coal-gas, taking equal weights. Its calorific power, 
supposing a perfect combustion, will be ten per' cent, less than that 
according to Mr. Vernon Harcourt's estimate, and less than half that 
of the highest estimate given by Mr. Clark. 

It is thus as clear as any deduction from chemical data can be, that 
while the economy in the use of coal-gas as a source of heat is so great 
as to render it worth while to keep up the distillation of this product, 
as now carried on, for calorific purposes alone, even exclusive of its use 
for a light, for the purposes of illumination petroleum offers an im- 
mense advantage over coal-gas, its illuminating powers being as much 
as fifteen-fold. And when we are speaking, not of an organized sys- 
tem of fixed lights, but of the convenience of a hand lamp, the price 
and the illuminative value of petroleum indicate it as the source of the 
economical light of the future. In fact, its light-giving power is ten 
per cent, more than that of either tallow or olive-oil, and four per 
cent, more than that of wax, weight for weight, notwithstanding the 
great difference in price. 

The question of the miner's safety, then, resolves itself into the 
construction of a petroleum lamp, which shall have the safety of the 
" Geordie," while giving the light of one, or even of tAvo or three fish- 
tail burners of gas, and which shall be so made as neither to empty nor 
to be extinguished if laid on the side. 

It is desirable, in an inquiry of this nature, to avoid anything that 
assumes the appearance of advertisement, or of an attempt to introduce 
anything of a commercial bearing. For that reason less must be said 
than honestly and fairly might be said as to the principles on which 
such a lamp may be unquestionably constructed. Two or three patents 
exist, which would require due consideration. It is always, indeed, 
doubtful how far recent patents will stand the test of thorough inves- 
tigation. The latest patents for electric lighting are now found, in 
many cases, to be reproductions of methods long since introduced and 


abandoned. Moreover, it may be hoped that if it were found that a 
great national benefit, such as a true miner's lamp would be, involved 
either a long delay before it could be offered to the collier, or serious 
compensation for an unexpectedly valuable patent right, no very exor- 
bitant claim would be raised to avoid the saving of a human life per day. 

The one simple principle on which a lamp, whether a safety-lamp 
or any other, may be made to yield the full light due to the perfect 
combustion of the carbon of its aliment, is one long known to the miner 
as applied to ventilation. A single shaft will not ventilate a mine. 
In the same way, if a lamp or a candle be surrounded by a glass shade 
only open at the top, it will not burn properly. The taller the glass 
chimney the redder and dimmer will be the flame, until it is actually 
extinguished by the product of its own combustion. This is usually 
avoided by a free admission of air below the chimney, which is not 
practicable in a safety-lamp. But if for one shaft two be substituted, 
or even if the single shaft be divided the miners call it " bratticed " 
into two vertical sections, a little heat will produce an upward cur- 
rent in the one, which will be fed by a descending current in the other. 
The lamp is only the mine in miniature. 

Very brilliant results have already attended the introduction of a 
lamp constructed in accordance with this simple law, in the illumination 
of railway carriages. No mechanical man can doubt that a modifica- 
tion of the lamp now used in the royal saloon carriages might put in 
the hands of the miner a real life-preserver. It would be a lamp which, 
while impenetrable to fire-damp, or rather impenetrable from within as 
a source of explosion, would give him what he now wants light in the 
darkness of the mine. 

We have seen that, out of the half million of colliers, to whose 
perilous labors we owe the warmth and comfort of our homes, the 
speed and regularity of our traveling both by land and by sea, and the 
aliment of that mighty host of mechanical horses which now perform 
the bulk of the sheer hard labor required above-ground in the United 
Kingdom, a tax on human lives at the rate of at least ten lives per mil- 
lion tons of coal is exacted with much regularity. From a fourth to 
a half of these lives are sacrificed by preventable calamities. It is by 
satisfying the mute instinctive demand of the miner for light, in his 
painful and dangerous toil, that these casualties which are preventable 
can alone be certainly prevented. Is it necessary to say more in order 
to turn the attention of the collier and of the engineer, of the man of 
capital and of the man of science, of the economist and of the phi- 
lanthropist, to the urgent question of providing the miner with a safe, 
convenient, and luminous lamp ? 

P. S. Since the above was in type, has appeared the announce- 
ment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into Mining Explosions, to 
the attention of which the above remarks may be respectfully com- 
mended. Fraser's Magazine. 





IF we look back over the field of chemistry, we find that we can 
easily discern well-characterized periods in its development. At 
first, in this subject, as in all others, came the period of chaos, during 
which relations of similar facts were not recognized nor suspected. No 
defined object was in view; and the development during this period 
was due almost entirely to accidental observations of facts which 
presented themselves to men in pursuing their ordinary occupations. 
Gradually we find that a certain class of men began to make use of 
chemical facts, as far as they were then known, for a very definite 
purjDose. This was, to convert ordinary base metals into that metal 
which possessed the greatest value gold. This purpose gave a pow- 
erful incentive to the study of chemical phenomena, and, under the 
influence of the natural passion which affected a comparatively large 
number of men, the subject of chemistry grew apace. But the impos- 
sibility of accomplishing the great problem of the alchemists became 
more and more apparent. No gold was made from baser metals, and 
no genuine philosopher's stone was discovered ; no panacea for all dis- 
eases was revealed. A reaction in scientific opinion then began, which 
led to very much modified views concerning the purpose of chemistry, 
until about the time of Paracelsus, who was both physician and chem- 
ist, we find that the opinion prevailed very generally, among those 
who were most active in investigating chemical phenomena, that the 
changes which take place in the animal body, under normal conditions, 
are nothing but chemical changes ; that a disturbance of these normal 
changes causes the different varieties of disease; and, finally, that the 
treatment of disease nvust consist in administering such chemical sub- 
stances as would restore the normal conditions. Paracelsus started 
these ideas, and others developed them, until they took the exaggerated 
form comprised in the above statements. According to these ideas, 
medicine was considered as a branch of chemistry, very much as met- 
allurgy is now considered as a branch of chemistry. Hence the physi- 
cians of the date of which I am speaking i. e., from the early part of 
the sixteenth until some time in the seventeenth century regarded 
chemistry as the one important subject for those who were to deal with 
disease. Without a knowledge of this subject they could not com- 
prehend the processes of life; without it they could not understand 
disease; without it they could not intelligently administer remedies. 

* From the Animal Address delivered before the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of 


I think we can see, in this reference to history, a tendency which 
has frequently been repeated since that time a tendency to generalize 
upon an insufficient basis of facts concerning the action of remedies. 
The reasoning of these older physicians, stripped of all unnecessary 
details, was simply this: Some remedies act chemically upon the body 
and produce chemical effects, hence all remedies must act in the same 
way. Thus the chemico-medical school was founded, as many schools 
of medicine have since been founded. The dogmas of this old school 
contained a healthy nucleus of truth, to be sure, as do the dogmas of 
most schools of medicine existing at the present day, but the physi- 
cian'proper now recognizes that remedies act in very many ways, and 
that the science of medicine must take into consideration every way 
in which remedies can act. He does not commit the error of being 
satisfied with one idea, as, for instance, that substances do act chemi- 
cally upon the body, that cold water is a valuable remedy, that elec- 
tricity properly applied is at times beneficial. A single idea is not 
sufficient for him: 

Still we must recognize the fact that, in order to impress upon the 
minds of men the importance of an idea, in order to attract attention 
to it, it is frequently necessary to present it in an exaggerated form. 
And so, while we see the error of the old physiciansof Paracelsus's 
time, we see also that, by attracting the attention of physicians and 
chemists to the connection between chemistry and medicine, the error 
committed resulted in permanent good to medicine, and the influence 
of the old school is still felt. The ideas of those who founded and de- 
veloped the chemico-medical school have found their proper level, as 
all ideas tend to do sooner or later. 

It would doubtless be interesting to follow closely the history of 
the connection between chemistry and medicine, but our time will not 
permit the discussion of this subject, and hence I shall speak of the 
bonds of connection indicated by actual chemical work of the present 

In the first place, chemistry furnishes medicine with many of its 
valuable remedies, as every one knows. The chemist, however, does 
not recognize the discovery of new substances, possessed of medicinal 
properties, as the object of his work. If he did so, both chemistry and 
medicine would suffer. The prime object of the scientific chemist must 
always be to develop his science, to perfect it in every way he may 
find possible ; he must be constantly on the lookout for discrepancies 
between facts supposed to be established, and must ever endeavor to 
correct errors into which his predecessors may have fallen ; he must 
reach out beyond that which is known, and strive to know more. The 
object of the chemist can only be accomplished by employing every 
method peculiar to the science of chemistry, and by striving to know 
everything about a substance or class of substances which it is possible 
to discern. If the chemist should work with .the main object of adding 


to the valuable substances included in the materia medica, he would 
stop when he had established the fact that this substance just born 
has such and such medicinal properties. He might discover a few sub- 
stances in this way, but, unless work of another kind were going on 
simultaneously, which would furnish him with new methods, with new 
guiding principles, the possibilities of new discoveries would soon be 
exhausted. It is absolutely necessary, then, that purely scientific and 
abstruse problems should engage the attention of chemists, if the sci- 
ence is to grow ; and it is further necessary that the science should 
grow, in order that new methods for the discovery of new substances 
may be introduced. It is the chemist proper who furnishes the 'new 
method ; it may be that the chemist proper also discovers the valuable 
remedy, though one who simply applies the truths of chemistry may 
make the discovery. 

As a matter of fact, it can be shown that it is to the purely scien- 
tific chemist, working with the main object of building up the science, 
that we owe the discovery of most valuable remedies, at least of those 
which are strictly speaking chemical compounds. I select for this pur- 
pose two substances which have but comparatively recently found their 
places in the materia medica viz., chloral and salicylic acid. How 
and by whom were these substances discovered and introduced into 
medicine ? 

Nearly fifty years ago the great master Liebig undertook the study 
of the decomposition which alcohol undergoes when treated with chlo- 
rine. Other observers had noticed the fact that alcohol is decomposed 
by chlorine and that an oily product is formed, but the nature and com- 
position of this product were unknown. Liebig undertook then simply 
to study this decomposition for the sake of throwing light upon the 
general subject, the action of chlorine upon alcohols. His investiga- 
tions soon led him to the discovery of a new substance which pos- 
sessed peculiar chemical properties, distinguishing it from all other 
compounds then known. This was chloral the name being derived 
from the first syllable of chlorine and the first syllable of alcohol. Of 
the action of this substance upon the system, Liebig did not dream ; but 
the study of its properties which he made at that time furnished the 
material that enabled Liebreich, forty years later, to dream in a very 
rational manner concerning its action upon the system. Liebreich's 
discovery of the value of chloral could not have been made by one 
unversed in chemistry. His experiments were undertaken in the true 
scientific spirit, and were suggested by a purely chemical method of 

Among other facts concerning chloral which had been established 
by Liebig was this that in the presence of alkalies it breaks up into 
formic acid and the substance which we now know by the name chlo- 
roform. Chloroform was thus discovered by Liebig at the same time 
with chloral, but the action of the former upon the system was as little 


known as that of the latter. Years after the effects produced by the 
inhalation of chloroform were discovered, Liebreich reasoned thus : If 
chloral breaks up in alkaline liquids into chloroform and formic acid, 
why should it not break up in the same way when introduced into the 
animal system ? The conditions in the body are favorable for such a 
decomposition the blood is an alkaline liquid and the chloral will dis- 
solve in it. By means of this reasoning the discovery was made, and 
there is no cause to doubt that the beneficial effects experienced from 
chloral are due to the fact that the alkaline blood decomposes it, form- 
ing chloroform and formic acid, the chloroform being thus introduced 
into the system in a manner differing from that involved in the inhala- 
tion process. 

As regards salicylic acid, its discovery was the result of a long 
series of purely scientific investigations. For years Kolbe had been 
trying to produce artificially in his laboratory some of the substances 
which are found in nature. He strove faithfully and conscientiously 
to accomplish his purpose, and at last he discovered a method which 
enabled him to make oxalic acid ; and then, after the method was given, 
the production of other similar acids was simply a question of the ap- 
plication of the new method. Salicylic acid was among the products 
thus formed. The acid had been known for a long time, but, as it 
could be obtained only from the expensive oil of wintergreen, it 
belonged to the rare substances. Kolbe's method of preparation, 
however, furnished the substance in large quantities and at a low 

The discovery of the valuable antiseptic properties of the acid was 
a pure scientific discovery, and was due to purely chemical reasoning. 
It was known that salicylic acid when heated breaks up directly into 
carbolic acid and what is commonly called carbonic acid. It occurred 
to Kolbe that possibly this property might be taken advantage of to 
furnish a substitute for the objectionable carbolic acid. The results of 
his experiments are well known : they were more satisfactory than he 
had hoped for. He found that salicylic acid is an excellent antiseptic. 
Though he has shown that, contrary to his expectation, the antiseptic 
action possessed by the acid is not due to its breaking up into carbonic 
and carbolic acid, still the action must be due to a similarity between 
the chemical structures of the two acids ; and this similarity could not 
have been detected without the aid of some of the most refined meth- 
ods of scientific chemistry. It is safe to say that blind experiment, un- 
guided by definite chemical principles, could not have led to this dis- 

Thus I have at least illustrated the truth of the remark I made a 
few minutes since, to the effect that the discoveries of substances valu- 
able in medicine are made by those engaged in the pursuit of pure 
science. I am aware that the two examples thus referred to will not 
suffice to furnish a perfect proof of the proposition ; but, if time per- 


mitted us to take a survey of the field, we should find that the proof 
could be made conclusive. 

But the discovery of new substances to be used as remedies does 
not furnish the only bond of connection between medicine and chem- 
istry. Nor is it by any means the most important one. For, as the 
tendency of the present generation of physicians is, I think, to rely 
less and less upon the action of drugs and chemicals, and to pay more 
and more attention to the circumstances surrounding the patient, so 
the discovery of purely remedial agents is becoming day by day of less 
importance, and the accurate study of those substances which we all 
necessarily make use of air, water, food in its various forms is be- 
coming the great problem in medicine. Thank Heaven ! the day of 
the old woman who knows what is " good for " everything is waning. 
She exists still in a thousand forms, sometimes in skirts and sometimes 
in trousers, but the natural growth of modern ideas will eradicate her, 
though the process will take generations for its completion. 

What is pure air ? What is pure water ? What food is appropri- 
ate ? These are questions which can only be answered by him who is 
versed in chemistry. The very fact that discussions are still going on 
in regard to these subjects indicates clearly that they can not be an- 
swered easily, and yet no one doubts their fundamental importance. 

For years men were satisfied with the belief that an increase in the 
amount of carbonic acid, beyond a certain point, was the cause of the 
evil effects experienced in breathing "foul ah-." The old familiar 
stories that have been told to prove the injurious character of the gas 
are still told in lectures on chemistry, and text-books of chemistry, and 
in medical books without number. Still, as most of you probably know, 
it has long since been proved by direct experiment, beyond the possi- 
bility of a doubt, that the amount of this gas may be increased to one 
twentieth of the volume of the air without producing any serious or 
even disagreeable effects upon those who breathe the air thus contami- 
nated. This is true, however, only when the carbonic acid is mixed 
with the air as a pure substance. If introduced in the ordinary way, 
by the breathing process, different results are obtained, and it is 
found that, under these circumstances, the quantity of carbonic acid 
can not exceed one part in 1,000 of air without serious effects upon 
those who breathe the air. The two results, apparently, do not har- 
monize, but, when we recognize the presence of other substances, of 
organic matters, in the air, which are given off from the body together 
with the carbonic acid, and in quantities proportional to the quantities 
of the latter, we can readily see that there may be some connection be- 
tween the amount of the carbonic acid present and the fitness of the air 
for breathing purposes. Such organic matters can easily be detected 
in the air, and they have recently been found by a method which indi- 
cates the possibility of determining their quantity, though such deter- 
minations are, at present, far from possible. Air was passed through 


a heated tube, and then passed into alcohol for the purpose of retaining 
the products formed by heating the organic substances. The alcohol 
gradually changed its color and became dark brown. This experiment, 
though exceedingly imperfect, at present points, I think, to the possi- 
bility of estimating the purity of air by a direct determination of the 
quantities of those constituents which probably are the really injurious 
ones; while, at present, for the want of a more reliable method, we 
are obliged to be satisfied with determining the quantity of carbonic 
acid, and then drawing conclusions with reference to the amount of 
the organic matters present. 

Various attempts have been made to simplify the determination of 
the amount of carbonic acid in air, so that even those who are not 
skilled in chemical manipulation might have a ready means for pro- 
nouncing upon the quality of air. The simplest of the methods proposed 
is the minimetric process of Lunge, which has been used to some extent 
in this as well as other countries. To show you, however, in what 
an unsatisfactory state this matter of air analysis still is, I will simply 
say that experiments undertaken, within a few months, by Hesse,* 
have shown that Lunge's minimetric process does not give reliable 
results, and hence conclusions reached from determinations made by 
this method are not to be regarded as final. 

Another point still in dispute concerns the presence of carbonic 
oxide in the air. This lower oxide of carbon is undoubtedly poisonous, 
and can not be taken into the lungs without serious effects. The pres- 
ence of only a small proportion of this gas will suffice to produce death. 
Now, if it could be shown that there are certain causes at work which 
apparently tend to introduce the gas into our dwellings and other 
buildings, alarm would naturally follow. Some years ago St. Claire- 
Deville, the French chemist, discovered that certain metals, when 
heated to red-heat, are porous for certain gases. This he found to be 
true of cast iron with reference to carbonic oxide. It is well known 
that in our coal-fires there is always formed a large quantity of car- 
bonic oxide; and, further, that stoves and furnaces not uncommonly 
become red-hot. Putting these facts together, men became alarmed. 
Stoves and furnaces were regarded with horror. In the eyes of many 
they were looked upon as poison-generators of a very dangerous kind. 
Active diseases were, in some cases, believed to have their origin in 
the presence of carbonic oxide in the air ; and, in cases in which ac- 
tive disease did not show itself, lassitude, headache, and other similar 
symptoms were supposed to be caused by the gas. There was a fashion, 
in some places, and particularly among those who prided themselves 
on " keeping up with the times," of referring every bodily affection to 
carbonic oxide when no other cause could be thought of, very much as, 
in days gone by, every disease which was not understood was classed 
under the general head " trouble with the liver." 

* " Zeitschrift fur Biologie," Bd. xiii., 395. 


What basis of facts hare we for this alarm about carbonic oxide ? 
Two chemists, within a very short time, have gone to work to deter- 
mine the amount of the gas contained in the air in places where it was 
assumed to be present in considerable quantity. And with what re- 
sults? Why, the specter vanished. In vain they sought for it in 
this corner, in that, in the chimney, in the hot-air passages but it was 
not there. There seems to be nothing left for the carbonic-oxide 
alarmists but to yield, and set about looking for another cause. 

The special experiments to which I refer were carried out by 
Gottschalk in Leipsic, and Vogel * in Berlin. Gottschalk, in a pamphlet 
entitled " Ueber die Nachweisbarkeit des Kohlenoxyds in sehr kleinen 
Mengen, und einige Bemerkungen zu der sogenannten Luftkeizungs- 
frage," describes a process by means of which he could detect, as he 
shows by direct experiment, 0*22 part of carbonic oxide in 1,000 parts 
of air. He was commissioned by the authorities of the city of Leipsic 
to apply this process to the examination of the air in two of the public 
schools in the city. Two different kinds of hot-air furnaces were em- 
ployed in these schools, and it was supposed that the air of the rooms 
was certainly contaminated with carbonic oxide. The experiments, 
however, proved that, if present at all, the gas could not be detected 
by a method capable of determining with certainty the presence of '22 
part in 1,000. 

Yogel's experiments are not so delicate as those of Gottschalk, but 
still they are interesting for other reasons. His method consists in 
shaking the air under examination with water which contains a drop 
or two of blood, and then examining the liquid by means of a pocket- 
spectroscope. If '4 per cent, of carbonic oxide be present the result 
is plainly perceptible in the spectrum of the light which has passed 
through the blood. The authorities of the city of Berlin commissioned 
Vogel, together with two other well-known experts, to examine the air 
of a number of schoolrooms in the city, with particular reference to 
the presence of carbonic oxide. The conclusion was simply that none 
of the gas could be detected by the blood method. Vogel argues 
further that a quantity of carbonic oxide in the air which can not be 
detected by his method can not act poisonously upon the concentrated 
blood of the human lungs. 

Of course the experiments described do not prove conclusively that 
air is not sometimes rendered unwholesome by carbonic oxide, but 
they at least prove that this gas is not so widely distributed as it has 
been supposed to be for some time past. 

Another constituent of the air which has from time to time at- 
tracted considerable attention is ozone. This has been supposed to be 
a health-giving principle in the atmosphere, and magical properties 
have been ascribed to it. The vitality of men is known to be subject 
to marked variations. On a cool, clear, bracing day the man is not 
* " Bcrichte der deutschen chomiscben Gesellschaft," xi., 235. 


what he is on a warm and murky day. The quantity of ozone in the 
air also varies. Perhaps our moods, our " spirits," are dependent upon 
ozone. Give us ozone enough, and the world will be happier and 
healthier. These are some of the ideas which have been advanced. 
Possibly there is some connection between these two very unlike 
things. Certainly much more accurate experiments than any which 
have thus far been made, are called for to prove the connection. 

In the light of many experiments it appears exceedingly probable 
that one of the most important constituents of the air is aqueous vapor, 
and that variations in its quantity beyond certain limits are productive 
of serious results. The influence of carbonic acid, carbonic oxide, or 
ozone, upon the value of air is almost nothing as compared with the 
influence exerted by the moisture. This is a point that does not or- 
dinarily receive the amount of attention which it deserves. A reliable 
hygrometer should be as frequently used in a dwelling as a reliable 
thermometer. It is undoubtedly a very difficult thing to regulate the 
amount of moisture in the atmosphere of dwellings, but more could be 
done than is done. The methods now adopted for this purpose are 
mostly exceedingly imperfect. Further, the importance of doing every- 
thing to regulate the amount is not sufficiently recognized, at least by 
the people at large. 

As regards the water we drink, every one knows that cases are very 
common in which it becomes polluted in one way or another, and that 
disease results from its use. Innumerable chemical examinations of 
drinking-water have been made, and large numbers of methods pro- 
posed for the analysis. Some of the methods have been shown to be 
utterly unreliable; others to be questionable; very few indeed to give 
results which can be regarded as at all valuable. It is about as diffi- 
cult at the present day to say what pure water is as it is to say what 
pure air is. Papers upon papers are written on the subject of water 
analysis. Some of these are based upon experiments performed; some 
are simply critical. Out of the mass of literature we gather some 
truths. One that stands out prominently is this, that the presence of 
chlorine, of organic matters, of ammonia, and of so-called " albumi- 
noid ammonia," indicates that the water containing them is very prob- 
ably contaminated through sewage, cesspool, privy, or barnyard ref- 
use. By the later methods of analysis, the estimations of the quanti- 
ties of the substances mentioned have become comparatively simple 
processes, so that now it is undoubtedly possible to pass a fairly reli- 
able judgment upon the value of a given specimen of water. It is, 
however, still quite impossible to determine by chemical methods 
whether the typhoid-poison is present in water or not, just as it is still 
impossible to determine whether in the air there is present that indefi- 
nite something known as " malaria." There is still a great deal to be 
done in order that a close connection between disease and the condition 
of drinking water may be established. The open questions are to a con 


siderable extent chemical questions, and they must be answered by the 
chemist. But new methods must be introduced of a more refined nature 
than most of those in use at present, and these methods will probably 
be discovered in paths leading far away from the field of mediicne 

There is a deep question of great importance to the physician in- 
volved in the study of food: What food should this or that person in- 
dulge in ? Every physician knows that the whole subject of food is 
at present in an indefinite, unsatisfactory condition. Fashions change 
in regard to kinds of food considered advisable. Now it is raw beef, 
now milk, now certain vegetables, etc. Of course, there is always a 
good reason to be given for the advice, whatever it may be, but it is 
certain that a good firm basis is still wanting for an understanding of 
the needs of the body under different conditions. Here is a great field 
for investigation; and Voit, of Munich, is doing what it is possible for 
a man to do in this direction. 

But, aside from the deeper question which chemistry must answer 
as to the requirements of the body in the way of food, another ques- 
tion, which presents itself at once to the physician and chemist, con- 
cerns the adulterations of food. Very little of a general character can 
be said in this connection. It is, of course, the duty of the physician 
to see that the food partaken of is what it ought to be. That adulter- 
ation of various kinds of food is a frequent occurrence can not be 
doubted. In despotic countries, inspectors of food are appointed, and 
heavy penalties are imposed upon those who sell adulterated articles. 
We can hardly hope ever to have such strict regulations in regard to 
these matters in this country. The free-born citizen, especially if he 
be a manufacturer or dealer in suspected articles, naturally rebels 
against interference with his rights; and the manufacturer is not to 
be treated lightly. His voice is loud in the halls of legislation; and, 
what he does not want, the average legislator is pretty sure not to 
want. The relations with reference to food adulterations are simi- 
lar to those existing with reference to fertilizers. The value of many 
fertilizers depends upon the amount of phosphoric acid and ammonia 
contained in them. I know that in some places there are chemists who 
habitually find considerably more phosphoric acid and more ammonia in 
any given fertilizer than it actually contains. If a young chemist dares 
to find the amounts actually present, and to state the results, the manu- 
facturer discards them, and takes the highest and false ones obtained 
by the initiated chemist. This can only be characterized by the name 
swindling. The public must submit. The manufacturer's interests 
are not to be trifled with. Looking at the subject of food adultera- 
tions from the standpoint of the public, it can only appear highly de- 
sirable that some action should be taken by our State governments 
looking to vigorous interference with the traffic in impure and injurious 


Having thus touched upon the general subject of the relations of 
chemistry to materia medica and to hygiene, it remains for me to con- 
sider briefly the relations between chemistry and medicine in a deeper 
and broader sense. We can not at the present day, like our prede- 
cessors, regard medicine as a branch of chemistry. There are many 
kinds of action, not chemical, which must be studied and understood 
by the physician. Still, undoubtedly many of the physiological pro- 
cesses are essentially of a chemical nature, and there are many patho- 
logical phenomena which are also chemical. The complex organism 
which is the physician's field of work employs a variety of forces, 
prominent among which is the chemical force. It would be a trite 
remark to say that the physician can not possibly have a complete com- 
prehension of what is going on within the body without a fair knowl- 
edge of chemistry. Yet I fear this fact is not always fully realized, 
nor indeed generally, if we are to take as evidence the practice of most 
medical schools. 

Writing a quarter of a century ago, Liebig used these words, which 
I can not do better than to repeat : " Physiological and chemical re- 
searches in the field of medicine are only in their infancy, but scarcely 
begun ; they have furnished the conviction that the processes in the 
living body rest upon natural laws, and every day brings discoveries, 
which prove that these laws can be investigated. It is true that in 
ages gone by there were excellent physicians who knew nothing of 
anatomy, and that for centuries diseases have been cured, the nature 
of which was not understood, just as to-day the nature of 'fever' and 
' inflammation ' is not known ; but there is not the slightest foundation 
for the conclusion that an exact insight into these processes is impossi- 
ble." And again he says : " Without correct ideas in regard to force, 
cause, action ; without a practical insight into the nature of natural 
phenomena ; without a thorough physiological aud chemical training, 
it is no wonder that otherwise sensible men defend the most nonsensi- 
cal views." 

These words of Liebig are just as forcible to-day as the day they 
were written, and just as applicable. 

The special value of a training in chemistry for a physician does 
not necessarily depend upon the fact that he learns a host of useful 
things, that he learns how to analyze substances, etc. To be sure, these 
acquisitions are valuable to him. But, if chemistry is to do for him 
what it can do, he must work so long and so conscientiously in its 
field as to enable him to acquire the " chemical sense." He must learn 
to think in the language of chemistry. He must reason as chemists 
reason not as deeply, of course, but in the same general way. Then 
chemistry will be to him a constant aid, whose presence he will feel 
whenever he is brought face to face with life, either in its normal or 
its abnormal forms. 

But, even if he did not retain a single chemical fact, the training 


which he would receive by going through a course in chemistry would 
be of value to him. His eye and mind would become somewhat ac- 
customed to dealing with natural phenomena. His powers of observa- 
tion would be exercised, and a certain ability to distinguish between 
the important and that which is secondary would be cultivated. With 
such preparation, and other appropriate accompanying preparation, 
he would be much better able to undertake the study of medicine 
proper than without it. Hence it is much better to introduce the 
study of medicine by that of chemistry and other allied subjects, than 
to take up all the subjects together. The study of chemistry should 
form a part of the preliminary, fundamental training of every medical 

That, owing to the arrangements of our medical schools, very little 
time can be given to chemistry is a misfortune. The amount of the 
subject usually taught is scarcely worth the trouble of acquiring it. 
I know what the amount usually is. I remember distinctly that, on 
the occasion of my graduation as a doctor of medicine, I was asked 
six questions which any one who had ever looked at a text-book of 
chemistry could have answered. I answered most of the questions 
incorrectly, as I have since discovered, but the Professor thought I 
was right, and I thought so too, and that was all that was necessary. 
Instead of possessing the "chemical sense," I was the possessor of 
considerable chemical nonsense. 

But, while it requires no arguments to prove that a chemical train- 
ing is desirable for the physician, it is not sufficient simply to acknowl- 
edge the truth of the statement. If it is true, then it is the sacred 
duty of every one, who has any influence with those who have a medi- 
cal career in view, to put them upon the right track, to see that the 
best kind of preliminary training is furnished them. 

By what I have said, I do not mean to imply that the physician is 
to be a chemist. This is an impossibility. " No man can serve two 
masters." I mean simply that he should have sufficient chemical 
knowledge to enable him to see when chemistry can answer a question 
of importance to medical science, and to know what value to attach to 
a chemical fact. It is plain that this kind of knowledge, which, so to 
speak, should pervade the mind of the physician, can only be acquired 
by studying pure chemistry as a science, and not by taking up the 
special study of physiological chemistry or medical chemistry. These 
latter rest upon pure chemistry, and can only be studied intelligently 
upon this basis. The specialist in medicine does not study eye-dis- 
eases or lung-diseases or diseases of the nerves, without first studying 
medicine. The analogy suggests itself. 

But chemistry, even sufficient for the medical man, can not be 
studied alone by means of lectures and text-books. The medical stu- 
dent should be brought, in the laboratory, in direct contact with the 
substances, the relations and properties of which he is studying. By 


this means alone can he learn enough of the subject to be of value 
to him ; by this means alone can he get the peculiar training which 
leads to that kind of mind known as the " scientific mind " a some- 
thing which is tangible and attainable, and which should be a charac- 
terizing feature of every medical man. 



BEFORE examining some groups of the higher orders of games, 
with the view of tracing their course in the world, it will be well 
to test by a few examples the principles on which we may reason as 
to their origin and migrations. An intelligent traveler among the 
Calmucks, noticing that they play a kind of chess resembling ours, 
would not for a moment entertain the idea of such an invention hav- 
ing been made more than once, but would feel satisfied that we and 
they and all chess-players must have had the game from one original 
source. In this example lies the gist of the ethnological argument 
from artificial games, that, when any such appears in two districts, it 
must have traveled from one to the other, or to both from a common 
center. Of course this argument does not apply to all games. Some 
are so simple and natural that, for all we can tell, they may often 
have sprung up of themselves, such as tossing a ball or wrestling ; 
while children everywhere imitate in play the serious work of grown- 
up life, from spearing an enemy down to molding an earthen pot. 
The distinctly artificial sports we are concerned with here are marked 
by some peculiar trick or combination not so likely to have been hit 
upon twice. Not only complex games like chess and tennis, but even 
many childish sports, seem well-defined formations, of which the 
spread may be traced on the map much as the botanist traces his 
plants from their geographical centers. It may give us confidence in 
this way of looking at the subject if we put the opposite view to the 
test of history and geography to see where it fails. Travelers, ob- 
serving the likeness of children's games in Europe and Asia, have 
sometimes explained it on this wise : that, the human mind being alike 
everywhere, the same games are naturally found in different lands, 
children taking to hockey, tops, stilts, kites, and so on, each at its 
proper season. But, if so, why is it that in outlying barbarous coun- 
tries one hardly finds a game without finding also that there is a civ- 
ivilized nation within reach from whom it may have been learned ? 
And, what is more, how is it that European children knew nothing 
till a few centuries ago of some of their now most popular sports ? 
For instance, they had no battledoor and shuttlecock and never flew 
vol. xv. 15 


kites till these games came across from Asia, when they took root at 
once and became naturalized over Europe. The origin of kite-flying 
seems to lie somewhere in southeast Asia, where it is a sport even of 
grown-up men, who fight their kites by making them cut one an- 
other's strings, and fly birds and monsters of the most fantastic shapes 
and colors, especially in China, where old gentlemen may be seen 
taking their evening stroll, kite-string in hand, as though they were 
leading pet dogs. The English boy's kite appears thus an instance, 
not of spontaneous play-instinct, but of the migration of an artificial 
game from a distant center. Nor is this all it proves in the history of 
civilization. Within a century, Europeans becoming acquainted with 
the South Sea Islanders found them down to New Zealand adepts at fly- 
ing kites, which they made of leaves or bark-cloth, and called mcinu, 
or " bird," flying them in solemn form with accompaniment of tradi- 
tional chants. It looks as though the toy reached Polynesia through 
the Malay region, thus belonging to that drift of Asiatic culture 
which is evident in many other points of South Sea Island life. The 
geography of another of our childish diversions may be noticed as 
matching with this. Mr. Wallace relates that, being one wet day in a 
Dyak house in Borneo, he thought to amuse the lads by taking a 
piece of string to show them cafs-cradle, but to his surprise he found 
that they knew more about it than he did, going off into figures that 
quite puzzled him. Other Polynesians are skilled in this nursery art, 
especially the Maoris of New Zealand, who call it maui, from the 
name of their national hero, by whom, according to their tradition, it 
was invented ; its various patterns represent canoes, houses, people, 
and even episodes in Maui's life, such as his fishing up New Zealand 
from the bottom of the sea. In fact, they have their pictorial history 
in cat's-cradle, and, whatever their traditions may be worth, they 
stand good to show that the game was of the time of their forefathers, 
not lately picked up from the Europeans. In the Sandwich Islands 
and New Zealand it is on record that the natives were found playing 
a kind of draughts which was not the European game, and which can 
hardly be accounted for but as another result of the drift of Asiatic 
civilization down into the Pacific. 

Once started, a game may last on almost indefinitely. Among the 
children's sports of the present day are some which may be traced 
back toward the limits of historical antiquity, and, for all we know, 
may have been old then. Among the pictures of ancient Egyptian 
games in the tombs of Beni Hassan, one shows a player with his head 
down so that he can not see what the others are doing with their 
clinched fists above his back. Here is obviously the game called in 
English hot-cockles, in French niain-chaude, and better described by 
its mediaeval name of qui fery ? or " who struck ? " the blindman 
having to guess by whom he was hit, or with which hand. It was the 
Greek kollabismos, or buffet-game, and carries with it a tragical asso- 


eiation in those passages in the Gospels which show it turned to mock- 
ery by the Roman soldiers: "And when they had blindfolded him 
.... they buffeted him .... saying, Prophesy unto us, Christ, Who 
is he that smote thee?" (Luke xxii. 64 ; Matt. xxvi. 67 ; Markxiv. 65). 

Another of the Egyptian pictures plainly represents the game we 
know by its Italian name of morra, the Latin micatio, or flashing of 
the fingers, which has thus lasted on in the Mediterranean districts 
over three thousand years, handed down through a hundred successive 
generations who did not improve it, for from the first it was perfect 
in its fitting into one little niche in human nature. It is the game of 
guessing addition, the players both at once throwing out fingers and 
in the same moment shouting their guesses at the total. Morra is the 
pastime of the drinking-shop in China as in Italy, and may, perhaps, 
be reckoned among the items of culture which the Chinese have bor- 
rowed from the Western barbarians. Though so ancient, morra has in 
it no touch of prehistoric rudeness, but must owe its origin to a period 
when arithmetic had risen quite above the savage level. The same is 
true of the other old arithmetical game, odd-and-even, which the poet 
couples with riding on a stick as the most childish of diversions, 
"Ludere>r irrypar, equitare in arundine longa." But the child play- 
ing it must be of a civilized nation, not of a low barbaric tribe, where 
no one would think of classing numbers into the odd-and-even series, 
so that Europeans have even had to furnish their languages with 
words for these ideas. I asked myself the question whether the an- 
cient Aryans distinguished odd from even, and curiously enough found 
that an answer had been preserved by the unbroken tradition not of 
Greek arithmeticians, but of boys at play. A scholiast on the Ploutos 
of Aristophanes, where the game is mentioned, happens to remark that 
it was also known as %vya ?/ a^vya, "yokes or not-yokes." Now, this 
matches so closely in form and sense with the Sanskrit terms for even 
and odd numbers, yuj and ayuj, as to be fair evidence that both Hin- 
doos and Greeks inherited arithmetical ideas and words familiar to 
their Aryan ancestors. 

Following up the clews that join the play-life of the ancient and 
modern worlds, let us now look at the ball-play, which has always 
held its place among sports. Beyond mere tossing and catching, the 
simplest kind of ball-play is where a ring of players send the ball 
from hand to hand. This gentle pastime has its well-marked place 
in history. Thus the ancient Greeks, whose secret of life was to do 
even trivial things with artistic perfection, delighted in the game of 
Nausikaa, and on their vases is painted many a scene where ball- 
play, dance, and song unite in one graceful sport. The ball-dance 
is now scarcely to be found but as an out-of-the-way relic of old 
custom ; yet it has left curious traces in European languages, where 
the ball (Low Latin ballet) has given its name to the dance it went with 
(Italian ballare, hallo, French hal, English ball) and even to the song 


that accompanied the dance (Italian ballata, French ballade, English 
ballad). The passion of ball-play begins not with this friendly, grace- 
ful delivery of the ball into the next hand, but when two hostile 
players or parties are striving each to take or send it away from the 
other. Thus, on the one hand, there comes into existence the group 
of games represented by the Greek harpaston, or seizing-game, where 
the two sides struggled to carry off the ball. In Brittany this has 
been played till modern times with the hay-stuffed soule or stm-ball, 
as big as a football, fought for by two communes, each striving to 
carry it home over their own border. ICmile Souvestre, in his " Der- 
niers Bretons," has told the last story of this fierce game in the 
Ponthivy district how the man who had had his father killed and 
his own eye knocked out by Francois, surnamed le Souleur, lay in 
wait for that redoubted champion, and got him down, soule and all, 
half-way across the boundary stream. The murderous sOule-play had 
to be put down by authority, as it had been years before in Scotland, 
where it had given rise to the suggestive proverb, " All is fair at the 
ball of Scone." The other class of hostile ball-games differs from this 
in the ball having not to be brought to one's own home, but sent to 
the goal of the other side. In the Greek epikoinos, or common-ball, 
the ball was put on the middle line, and each party tried to seize it and 
throw it over the adversary's goal-line. This game also lasted on into 
modern Europe, and our proper English name for it is hurling, while 
football also is a variety of it, the great Roman blown leather ball 
{follis) being used instead of the small hand-ball, and kicked instead 
of thrown. Now, as hurling was an ordinary classical game, the an- 
cients need only have taken a stick to drive the ball instead of using 
hands or feet, and would thus have arrived at hockey. But Cory don 
never seems to have thought of borrowing Phillis's crook for the pur- 
pose it would have so exactly suited. No mention of games like hoc- 
key appears in the ancient world, and the course of invention which 
brought them into the modern world is at once unexpected and in- 

The game known to us as polo has been traced by Sir W. Ouseley, 
in Persia, far back in the Sassanian dynasty, and was at any rate in 
vogue there before the eighth century. It was played with the long- 
handled mallet called chuydn, which Persian word came to signify also 
the game played with it. This is the instrument referred to in the 
" Thousand and One Nights," and among various earlier passages where 
it occurs is the legend told by the Persian historian of Darius insult- 
ing Alexander by sending him a ball and mallet (yu'l ve chuydn) as a 
hint that he was a boy more fit to play polo than to go to war. "When 
this tale finds its way to Scotland, in the romance of King Alisaunde, 
these unknown instruments are replaced by a whipping-top, and Shake- 
speare has the story in the English guise of a newer period in the 
scene in " Henry V." : " What treasure, uncle ? " " Tennis-balls, my 


liege." By the ninth century the game of chugdn had established it- 
self in the Eastern Empire, where its name appears in the barbarous 
Greek form T^vKavi^eiv. In the Byzantine descriptions, however, we 
find not the original mallet, but a long staff ending in a broad bend 
filled in with a network of gut-strings. Thus there appear in the East, 
as belonging to the great sport of ball-play on horseback, the first 
shapes of two implements which remodeled the whole play-life of 
mediseval and modern Europe, the chugan being the ancestor of the 
mallets used in pall-mall and croquet, and of an endless variety of 
other playing clubs and bats, while the bent staff with its network 
was the primitive racket. The fine old Persian drawing of a match 
at chugan, which is copied by Ouseley in his " Travels in the East," jus- 
tifies his opinion that the horseback game is the original. We should 
not talk of polo as being " hockey on horseback," but rather regard 
hockey as dismounted polo, and class with it pall-mall, golf, and many 
another bat-and-ball game. Indeed, when one comes to think of it, 
one sees that no stick being necessary for the old foot-game of hurl- 
ing, none was used, but, as soon as the Persian horsemen wanted to 
play ball on horseback, a proper instrument had to be invented. This 
came to be used in the foot-game also, so that the Orientals are famil- 
iar both with the mounted and dismounted kinds. The horseback 
game seems hardly to have taken hold in Europe till our own day, 
when the English brought it down from Munniepoor, and it has now 
under the name of polo become a world-wide sport again. But the 
foot-game made it way early into Europe, as appears from a curious 
passage in Joinville's " Life of St. Louis," written at the end of the thir- 
teenth century. Having seen the game on his crusade, and read about 
it in the Byzantine historians, he argues that the Greeks must have 
borrowed their tzy canister ium from the French, for it is, he says, a 
game played in Languedoc by driving a boxwood ball with a long 
mallet, and called there chicane. The modern reader has to turn this 
neat and patriotic argument upside down, the French chicane being 
only a corruption of the Persian chugdn ; so that what Joinville ac- 
tually proves is, that before his time the Eastern game had traveled 
into France, bringing with it its Eastern name. Already, in his day, 
from the ball-game with its shifts and dodges, the term chicane had 
come to be applied by metaphor to the shuffles of lawyers to embar- 
rass the other side, and thence to intrigue and trickery in general. 
English has borrowed chicane in the sense of trickery, without know- 
ing it as the name of a game. Metaphors taken from sports may thus 
outlast their first sense, as when again people say, " Don't bandy words 
with me," without an idea that they are using another metaphor taken 
from the game of hockey, which was called bandy from the curved 
stick or club it was played with. 

In France, the name of crosse, meaning a crutch, or bishop's cro- 
sier, was used for the mallet, and thence the game of hockey has its 


ordinary French name, jew de la crosse. In Spanish, the game has 
long been known as chueca. The Spaniards taught it to the natives 
of South America, who took kindly to it, not as mere boys' play, but 
as a manly sport. It is curious to read accounts by modern European 
travelers, who seem not to recognize their own playground game when 
transplanted among the Araucanians of Chili, even though it shows 
its Spanish origin by the name of chueca. Seeing this, one asks 
whence did the North American Indians get their famous ball-play, 
known from California right across the Indian country ? It is to all 
intents the European chueca, crosse, or hockey, the deerskin ball being 
thrown up in the middle, each of the two contending parties striving 
to throw or drive it through the adversaries' goal. The Iroquois say 
that in old times their forefathers played with curved clubs and a 
wooden ball, before the racket was introduced, with which to strike, 
carry, or throw the leather ball. Of all the describers of this fine 
game, Catlin has best depicted its scenes with pen and pencil, from its 
beginning with the night ball-play dance, where the players crowded 
round their goals, held up and clashed their rackets, and the women 
danced in lines between, and the old men smoked to the Great Spirit 
and led the chant for his favor in the contest. The painter would 
never miss a ball-play, but sit from morning till sundown on his pony, 
studying the forms of the young athletes in their " almost superhu- 
man " struggles for the ball, till at last one side made the agreed num- 
ber of goals, and divided with yells of triumph the fur robes and tin 
kettles and miscellaneous property staked on the match. Now, as to 
the introduction of the game into North America, the Jesuit mission- 
aries in New France, as early as 1636, mention it by their own French 
name of Jew de crosse, at which Indian villages contended " a qui cros- 
sera le mieux." The Spaniards, however, had been above a century in 
America, and might have brought it in, which is a readier explanation 
than the other possible alternative that it made its way across from 
southeast Asia. 

When the middle ages set in, the European mind at last became 
awake to the varied pleasure to be got out of hitting a ball with a bat. 
The games now developed need not be here spoken of at length pro- 
portioned to their great place in modern life, as the changes which 
gave rise to them are so comparatively modern and well known. The 
Persian apparatus kept close to its original form in the game of pall- 
mall, that is, " ball-mallet," into which game was introduced the arch 
or ring to drive the ball through, whereby enough incident was given 
to knocking it about to make the sport fit for a few players, or even a 
single pair. An account of pall-mall and its modern revival in croquet 
will be found in Dr. Prior's little book. Playing the ball into holes 
serves much the same purpose as sending it through rings, and thus 
came in the particular kind of bandy called golf, from the clubs used 
to drive the ball. The stool-ball, so popular in mediaeval merrymak- 


ings, was played with a stool, which one protected by striking away 
with his hands the hall which another bowled at it ; the in-player was 
out if the stool was hit, or he might be caught out, so that here is evi- 
dently part of the origin of cricket, in which the present stumps seem 
to represent the stool. In club-ball a ball was bowled and hit with a 
club ; and a game called cat-and-dog was played in Scotland two cen- 
turies ago, where players protected not wickets but holes from the 
wooden cat pitched at them, getting runs when they hit it. We have 
here the simple elements from which the complex modern cricket was 
developed. Lastly, among the obscure accounts of ancient ball-play, 
it is not easy to make out that the ball was ever sent against an oppo- 
site wall for the other player to take it at the bound and return it. 
Such a game, particularly suited to soldiers shut up in castle-yards, 
became popular about the fourteenth century under the name of pila 
palmaria, or Jew de paulme, which name indicates its original mode of 
striking with the palm of the hand, as in Jives. It was an improve- 
ment to protect the hand with a glove, such as may still be seen in 
the ball-play of Basque cities, as at Bayonne. Sometimes a battledoor 
faced with parchment was used, as witness the story of the man who 
declared he had played with a battledoor that had on it fragments of 
the lost decades of Livy. But it was the racket that made possible 
the " cutting " and " boasting " of the mediaeval tennis-court, with its 
elaborate scoring by " chases." No doubt it was the real courtyard 
of the chateau, with its penthouses, galleries, and grated windows, 
that furnished the tennis-court with the models for its quaintly artifi- 
cial grilles and lunes so eruditely discussed in Mr. Julian Marshall's 
"Annals of Tennis." A few enthusiastic amateurs still delight in the 
noble and costly game, but the many have reason to be grateful for 
lawn-tennis out of doors, though it be but a mild version of the 
great game, to which it stands as hockey to polo or as draughts to 

Turning now to the principal groups of sedentary games, I may 
refer to the evidence I have brought forward elsewhere,* that the use 
of lots or dice for gambling arose out of an earlier serious use of such 
instruments for magical divination. The two conceptions, indeed, 
pass into one another. The magician draws lots to learn the future, 
and the gambler to decide the future, so that the difference between 
them is that between " will " and " shall." But the two-faced lot that 
can only fall head or tail can only give a simple yes or no, which is 
often too simple for either the diviner or the gambler. So we find 
African negroes divining with a number of cowries thrown together 
to see how many fall up and how many down ; and this, too, is the 
Chinese method of solemn lot-casting in the temple, when the falling 
of the spoon-like wooden lots, so many up and so many down, fur- 
nishes an intricate result which is to be interpreted by means of the 

* " Primitive Culture," chap. iii. 


book of mystic diagrams. When this combination of a number of 
two-faced lots is used by gamblers, this perhaps represents the earlier 
stage of gaming, which may have led up to the invention of dice, in 
which the purpose of variety is so much more neatly and easily at- 
tained. The first appearance of dice lies beyond the range of history, 
for, though they have not been traced in the early periods in Egypt, 
there is in the Rig- Veda the hymn which portrays the ancient Aryan 
gambler stirred to frenzy by the fall of the dice. It is not clear 
even which came first of the various objects that have served as 

In the classic world girls used the astragali or hucklebones as play- 
things, tossing them up and catching them on the back of the hand ; 
and to this day we may see groups of girls in England at this ancient 
game, reminding us of the picture by Alexander of Athens, in the 
Naples Museum, of the five goddesses at play. It was also noticed 
that these bones fall in four ways, with the flat, concave, convex, or 
sinuous side up, so that they form natural dice, and as such they have 
been from ancient times gambled with accordingly. In India Nature 
provides certain five-sided nuts that answer the purpose of dice. Of 
course, when the sides are alike, they must be marked or numbered, 
as with the four-sided stick-dice of India, and that which tends to 
supersede all others, the six-sided Jcubos, which gave the Greek geome- 
ters the name for the cube. Since the old Aryan period many a broken 
gamester has cursed the hazard of the die. We moderns are apt to 
look down with mere contempt at his folly. But we judge the ancient 
gamester too harshly if we forget that his passion is mixed with those 
thoughts of luck or fortune or superhuman intervention which form 
the very mental atmosphere of the soothsayer and the oracle-prophet. 
With devout prayer and sacrifice he would propitiate the deity who 
should give him winning throws ; nor, indeed, in our own day have 
such hopes and such appeals ceased among the uneducated. To the 
educated it is the mathematical theory of probabilities that has shown 
the folly of the gamester's staking his fortune on his powers of divina- 
tion. But it must be borne in mind that this theory itself was, so to 
speak, shaken out of the dice-box. When the gambling Chevalier de 
Mere put the question to Pascal in how many throws he ought to get 
double-sixes, and Pascal solving the problem started the mathematical 
calculation of chances, this laid the foundation of the scientific system 
of statistics which more and more regulates the arrangements of so- 
ciety. Thus accurate method was applied to the insurance-table, 
which enables a man to hedge against his ugliest risks, to eliminate 
his chances of fire and death by betting that he shall have a new roof 
over his head and a provision for his widow. Of all the wonderful 
turns of the human mind in the course of culture, scarce any is more 
striking than this history of lots and dice. Who, in the middle ages, 
could have guessed what would be its next outcome that magic sunk 


into sport should rise again as science, and man's failure to divine the 
future should lead him to success in controlling it ? 

Already in the ancient world there appear mentions of games where 
the throws of lots or dice, perhaps at first merely scored with counters 
on a hoard, give the excitement of chance to a game which is partly a 
draught-game, the player being allowed to judge with which pieces 
he will move his allotted number. In England this group of games is 
represented by backgammon. When Greek writers mention dice-play- 
ing, they no doubt often mean some game of this class, for at mere 
hazard the Persian queen-mother could not have played her game care- 
fully, as Plutarch says she did, nor would there have been any sense 
in his remark that in life, as in dicing, one must not only get good 
throws, but know how to use them. The Roman game of the twelve 
lines {duodecim seripta) so nearly corresponded with our trictrac or 
backgammon, that M. Becq de Fouquieres, in his " Jeux des Anciens," 
works out on the ordinary backgammon-board the problem of the Emper- 
or Zeno that has vexed the soul of many a critic. All these games, how- 
ever, are played with dice, and as there exist other games of like prin- 
ciple where lots are thrown instead of dice, it may perhaps be inferred 
that such ruder and clumsier lot-backgammon was the earlier, and dice- 
backgammon a later improvement upon it. Of course, things may 
have happened the opposite way. Lot-backgammon is still played in 
the East in more than one form. The Arabic-speaking peoples call it 
tab, or game, and play it with an oblong board or rows of holes in the 
ground, with bits of brick and stone for draughts of the two colors, and 
for lots four palm-stick slips with a black and white side. In this low 
variety of lot-backgammon, the object is not to get one's own men 
home, but to take all the adversary's. The best representative of this 
group of games is the Hindoo pachisi, which belongs to a series an- 
cient in India. It is played on a cross-shaped board or embroidered 
cloth, up and down the arms of which the pieces move and take, in 
somewhat the manner of backgammon, till they get back to the central 
home. The men move by the throws of a number of cowries, of which 
the better throws not only score high, but entitle the player to a new 
throw, which corresponds to our rule of doubles giving a double move 
at backgammon. The game of pachisi has great vogue in Asia, ex- 
tending into the far East, where it is played with flat tamarind-seeds 
as lots. It even appears to have found its way still farther eastward, 
into America, forming a link in the chain of evidence of an Asiatic 
element in the civilization of the Aztecs.* For the early Spanish- 
American writers describe, as played at the court of Montezuma, a 
game called patolli, played after the manner of their European tables 
or backgammon, but on a mat with a diagram like a + or Greek cross, 
full of squares on which the different-colored stones or pieces of the 

* See the author's paper in the " Journal of the Anthropological Institute," Novem- 
ber, 1818. 


players were moved according to the throws of a number of marked 
beans. Without the board and pieces, the mere throwing hazards 
with the beans or lots, to bet on the winning throws, furnishes the 
North American tribes with their favorite means of gambling, the 
game of plum-stones, game of the bowl, etc. 

It is a curious inquiry what led people to the by no means obvious 
idea of finding sport in placing stones or pieces on a diagram and mov- 
ing them by rule. One hint as to how this may have come about is 
found in the men at backgammon acting as though they were " count- 
ers " counting up the throws. The word abax, or abacus, is used both 
for the reckoning-board with its counters and the play-board with its 
pieces, whence a plausible guess has been made that playing on the 
ruled board came from a sportive use of the serious counting instru- 
ment. The other hint is that board-games, from the rudest up to 
chess, are so generally of the nature of Kriegspiel, or war-game, the 
men marching on the field to unite their forces or capture their ene- 
mies, that this notion of mimic war may have been the very key to their 
invention. Still these guesses are far from sufficient, and the origin of 
board-games is still among the anthropologist's unanswered riddles. 
The simpler board-games of skill, that is, without lots or dice, and 
played by successive moves or draws of the pieces, may be classed ac- 
cordingly as games of draughts, this term including a number of dif- 
ferent games, ancient and modern. 

The ancient Egyptians were eager draught-players ; but though 
we have many pictures, and even the actual boards and men used, it 
is not clear exactly how any of their games were played. Ingenuity 
and good heavy erudition have been misspent by scholars in trying to 
reconstruct ancient games without the necessary data, and I shall not 
add here another guess as to the rules of the draughts with which 
Penelope's suitors delighted their souls as they sat at the palace gates 
on the hides of the oxen they had slaughtered ; nor will I discuss the 
various theories as to what the " sacred line " was in the Greek game 
of the " five lines," mentioned by Sophocles. It will be more to the 
purpose to point out that games worth keeping up hardly die out, 
so that among existing sports are probably represented, with more 
or less variation, the best games of the ancients. On looking into the 
mentions of the famous Greek draught-game of plinthion, or jiolis, it 
appears that the numerous pieces, or " dogs," half of them of one 
color and half of the other, were moved on the squares of the board, 
the game being for two of the same color to get one of the other color 
between them, and so take him. The attempt to reason out from this 
the exact rules of the classic game has not answered. But on looking, 
instead of arguing, I find that a game just fitting the description still 
actually exists. The donkey-boys of Cairo play it in the dust with 
" dogs," which are bits of stone and red brick, and the guides have 
scratched its siga, or diagram, on the top of the great pyramid. If it 


was not there before, it would have come with Alexander to Alexan- 
dria, and has seemingly gone on unchanged since. There is an account 
of it in Lane's " Modern Egyptians," and any one interested in games 
will find it worth trying with draughts on a cardboard square. One 
kind of the Roman game of latrunculi was closely related to this, as 
appears from such passages as Ovid's " cum medius gemino calculus 
hoste perit," referring to the stone being taken between two enemies. 
The poet mentions, a feAv lines further on, the little table with its three 
stones, where the game is " continuasse suos," to get your men in a 
line, which is, of course, our own childish game of tit-tat-to. This case 
of the permanence of an ancient game was long ago recognized by 
Hyde in his treatise, " De Ludis Orientalibus." It is the simplest 
form of the group known to us as mill, merelles, morris, played by 
children all the way across from Shetland to Singapore. Among the 
varieties of draught-games played in the world, one of the most elabo- 
rate is the Chinese wei-chi, or game of circumvention, the honored 
pastime of the learned classes. Here one object is to take your en- 
emy by surrounding him with four of your own men, so as to make 
what is called an " eye," which looks as though the game belonged 
historically to the same group as the simpler classic draughts, where the 
man is taken between two adversaries. In modern Europe the older 
games of this class have been superseded by one on a different prin- 
ciple. The history of what we now call draughts is disclosed by the 
French dictionary, which shows how the men used to be called pions, 
or pawns, till they reached the other side of the board, then becoming 
ilames, or queens. Thus the modern game of draughts is recognized 
as being, in fact, a low variety of chess, in which the pieces are all 
pawns, turned into queens in chess-fashion when they gain the adver- 
sary's line. The earliest plain accounts of the game are in Spanish 
books of the middle ages, and the theory of its development through 
the mediaeval chess problems will be found worked out by the best 
authority on chess, Dr. A. van der Linde, in his "Geschichte des 

The group of games represented by the Hindoo tiger-and-cows, our 
fox-and-geese, shows in a simple way the new situations that arise in 
board-games when the men are no longer all alike, but have different 
powers, or moves. Isidore of Seville (about a. d. 600) mentions, under 
the name of latrunculi, a game played with pieces of which some were 
common soldiers (ordinarii), marching step by step, while others were 
wanderers (vagi). It seems clear that the notions of a kriegspiel, or 
war-game, and of pieces with different powers moving on the checker- 
board, were familiar in the civilized world at the time when, in the 
eighth century or earlier, some inventive Hindoo may have given them 
a more perfect organization by setting on the board two whole oppos- 
ing armies, each complete in the four forces, foot, horse, elephants, and 
chariots, from which an Indian army is called in Sanskrit chaturanga, 


or " four-bodied." The game thus devised was itself called chaturan- 
</a, for when it passed into Persia it carried with it its Indian name in 
the form shatranj, still retained there, though lost'by other nations who 
received the game from Persia, and named it from the Persian name 
of the principal piece, the shah, or king, whence schach, eschecs, chess. 
According to this simple theory, which seems to have the best evi- 
dence, chess is a late and high development arising out of the ancient 
draught-games. But there is another theory maintained by Professor 
Duncan Forbes in his " History of Chess," and prominent in one at 
least of our chess handbooks, which practically amounts to saying that 
chess is derived from backgammon. It is argued that the original 
game was the Indian fourfold-chess, played with four half -sets of men, 
black, red, green, and yellow, ranged on the four sides of the board, 
the moves of the pieces being regulated by the throws of dice ; that in 
course of time the dice were given up, and each two allied half-sets of 
men coalesced into one whole set, one of the two kings sinking to the 
position of minister, or queen. Now, this fourfold Indian dice-chess 
is undoubtedly a real game, but the mentions of it are modern, whereas 
history records the spread of chess proper over the East as early as the 
tenth century. In the most advanced Indian form of pachisi, called chu- 
pur, there are not only the four sets of different-colored men, but the very 
same stick-dice that are used in the dice-chess, which looks as though 
this latter game, far from being the original form of chess, were an 
absurd modern hybrid resulting from the attempt to play backgammon 
with chess-men. This is Dr. van der Linde's opinion, readers of whose 
book will find it supported by more technical points, while they will 
be amused with the author's zeal in belaboring his adversary Forbes, 
which reminds one of the legends of mediaeval chess-players, where the 
match naturally concludes by one banging the other about the head 
with the board. It is needless to describe here the well-known points 
of difference between the Indo-Persian and the modern European chess. 
On the whole, the Indian game has substantially held its own, while 
numberless attempts to develop it into philosophers' chess, military 
tactics, etc., have been tried and failed, bringing, as they always do, 
too much instructive detail into the plan which in ancient India was 
shaped so judiciously between sport and science. 

In this survey of games, I have confined myself to such as offered 
subjects for definite remark, the many not touched on including cards, 
of which the precise history is still obscure. Of the conclusions brought 
forward, most are no doubt imperfect, and some may be wrong, but it 
seemed best to bring them forward for the purpose of giving the sub- 
ject publicity, with a view to inducing travelers and others to draw 
up minutely accurate accounts of all undescribed games they notice. 
In Cook's " Third Voyage " it is mentioned that the Sandwich Island- 
ers played a game like draughts with black and white pebbles on a 
board of fourteen by seventeen squares. Had the explorers spent an 


hour in learning it, we should perhaps have known whether it was the 
Chinese or the Malay game, or what it was ; and this might have been 
the very clew, lost to native memory, to the connection of the Polyne- 
sians with a higher Asiatic culture in ages before a European ship had 
come within their coral reefs. 

It remains to call attention to a point which this research into the 
development of games brings strongly into view. In the study of 
civilization, as of so many other branches of natural history, a theory 
of gradual evolution proves itself a trustworthy guide. But it will 
not do to assume that culture must always come on by regular, unvary- 
ing progress. That, on the contrary, the lines of change may be ex- 
tremely circuitous, the history of games affords instructive proofs. 
Looking over a playground wall at a game of hockey, one might easily 
fancy the simple line of improvement to have been that the modern 
schoolboy took to using a curved stick to drive the ball with, instead 
of hurling it with his hands as he would have done if he had been a 
young Athenian of b. c. 500. But now it appears that the line of 
progress was by no means so simple and straight, if we have to go 
round by Persia, and bring in the game of polo as an intermediate 
stage. If, comparing Greek draughts and English draughts, we were 
to jump to the conclusion that the one was simply a further develop- 
ment of the other, this would be wrong, for the real course appears to 
have been that some old draught-game rose into chess, and then again 
a lowered form of chess came down to become a new game of draughts. 
We may depend upon it that the great world-game of evolution is not 
played only by pawns moving straight on, one square before another, 
but that long-stretching moves of pieces in all directions bring on new 
situations, not readily foreseen by minds that find it hard to see six 
moves ahead upon a chess-board. Fortnightly Review. 



THE medical student, who, in answer to an examiner anxious to 
ascertain the exact amount of the lad's knowledge concerning 
fishes, replied that " he knew them all from the limpet to the whale," 
must indeed be credited with a larger share of candor than of zoologi- 
cal science. The limpet is a shell " fish " by courtesy at the best, but 
the whale, public opinion notwithstanding, is not a fish in any sense 
of the term. The most that can be said of the whale in this respect 
is that it is fish-like ; and, admitting that appearances in zoological 
study are as deceptive as in ordinary existence, it behooves us to be 
cautious in accepting outward resemblances as indicative of real and 


veritable affinity. A popular lesson in natural history, then, teaches 
us that a whale is a quadruped that is, apart from the mere etymol- 
ogy of the word, it belongs to the quadruped class. It possesses but 
two legs, or rather " arms," it is true, and these members do not re- 
semble limbs. But it is a quadruped notwithstanding its deficiencies 
in this respect ; and it agrees in all the characters which are found to 
distinguish the class to which man himself belongs, that of the Mam- 
malia. These characters it may be advantageous very briefly to detail, 
by way of preliminary to the general study of whales and their near- 
est relations. Thus, firstly, they are warm-blooded animals, a state- 
ment which must be taken as meaning that their blood is of a temper- 
ature considerably higher than that of the medium in which they live. 
The fish, on the other hand, is a cold-blooded creature. Its tempera- 
ture is only slightly higher than that of the surrounding water, and in 
this respect it agrees with all invertebrate animals and with the frogs 
and reptiles of its own sub-kingdom. Next in order may be noticed 
the agreement of the whale with the quadruped in the matter of body- 
covering. The covering of the latter consists of hairs. Although the 
body of the whale can not be described, by any stretch of the imagi- 
nation, as having hair, the presence of a few bi'istles around the mouth- 
extremity sufficiently indicates the nature of its outer garment ; while, 
before birth, the body-covering in some whales is tolerably plentiful, 
but is soon shed, leaving the hide thick, shining, and hairless. The 
microscopist might inform us that the blood of the whale presents the 
same characters as that of other mammals, and possesses red corpuscles 
or colored bodies, which, unlike those of the fish, reptile, and bird, 
have no central particle or " nucleus." And while the heart of the fish 
is a comparatively simple engine of propulsion, consisting of two con- 
tractile chambers or cavities, the whale's heart will be found like that 
of man and other quadrupeds in all essential details of its structure. 
It is thus a four-chambered organ doing double duty, in that it sends 
blood not only through the system, but also to the lungs for purifi- 

The mention of lungs as the breathing organs of whales at once 
introduces us to a new field of inquiry concerning the habits and life 
of the aquatic monsters. A popular notion exists that of necessity a 
water-living animal must be a water-breather. The idea of fish exist- 
ence and of the manner in which fishes breathe evidently reigns para- 
mount in the present case. That an animal may be completely aquatic 
in its habits, and yet breathe air directly from the atmosphere, and 
after a like procedure to that witnessed in human respiration, is a no- 
table fact. A water-newt, despite its aquatic habits, ascends periodi- 
cally to the surface of the water to breathe ; and seals, walruses, and 
whales agree in that they are truly lung-breathers, and possess gills at 
no period of their existence. True, a gill differs from a lung only in 
that it is capable of exposing the blood circulating through it to the 


air which is entangled or mechanically suspended in the water. At- 
mospheric air containing the vitalizing oxygen for the renewal and 
purification of the blood is the great desideratum on the part of all 
animals, high and low alike. And the gill and lung, therefore, differ 
simply in the manner and method in which the blood in each is 
brought in contact with the air, and not in the essential details of their 
work. The whales are known to " blow," and the act of " blowing " 
is simply the act of breathing to be more particularly noticed here- 
after. Thus, a whale or seal would be drowned as certainly as an 
ordinary quadruped would be asphyxiated, were its periodical access 
to the atmosphere prevented ; and the curious fact may here be men- 
tioned that there are also certain abnormal living fishes notably the 
climbing perch and qphiocephali of India which, to use the words of 
a writer, are as easily drowned as dogs when denied access to the air. 
There is little need to particularize any of the remaining characters 
which demonstrate the whale's relationship to mammals, and its differ- 
ence in structural points from the fishes. The young whale is thus 
not merely born alive, but is nourished by means of the milk-secretion 
of the parent, and this last evidence of direct connection with higher 
animals might of itself be deemed a crucial test of the place and rank 
of the whales in the animal series. 

But, granting that in the whales we meet with true quadrupeds, it 
may be well to indicate the chief points in which they differ from their 
mammalian brethren at large. It may be admitted, at the outset, that 
they present us with a very distinct modification of the quadruped 
type. Their adaptation to a water-life is so complete, in truth, that it 
has destroyed to a large extent the outward and visible signs of their 
relationship with mammals. The body is thoroughly fish-like and 
tapers toward the tail, where we meet with a tail-fin, which, however, 
is set right across the body, and not vertically as in the fishes. This 
latter difference, indeed, is a very prominent feature in whale-struc- 
ture. The limbs, as already remarked, are represented by the two 
fore-limbs alone. No trace of hinder-extremities is to be perceived 
externally, and the anatomical investigation of the skeleton reveals at 
the best the merest rudiments of haunch-bones and of hind-limbs in 
certain whales, of which the well-known Greenland whale may be 
cited as an example. A distinct character of the whales has been 
found by naturalists of all periods in the " blowholes " or apertures 
through which the whale is popularly supposed to " spout." Thus we 
find on the upper surface of the head of a Greenland whale a couple 
of these " blowholes," or " spiracles," as they are also called. These 
apertures exist on the front of the snout in the sperm whales, while in 
the porpoises, dolphins, and their neighbors the blowhole is single, of 
crescentic shape, and placed on the top of the head. It requires but 
little exercise of anatomical skill to identify the " blowholes |' of the 
whales with the nostrils of other animals ; and it becomes an interest- 


ing matter to trace the adaptation of the nostrils to the aquatic life 
and breathing habits of these animals. 

There are natural history text-books still extant in which a very 
familiar error regarding the " blowing " of the whales is propagated 
an error which, like many other delusions of popular kind, has become 
so fossilized, so to speak, that it is difficult to convince believers of its 
falsity. A manual of natural history, of no ancient date, lies before 
me as I write, and when I turn to the section which treats of the 
whales, I find an illustration of a Greenland whale, which is represented 
as lying high and dry on the beach, but which, despite its stranded 
state, appears in the act of vigorously puffing streams of water from 
the blowholes on the top of its head. To say the least of it, such an 
illustration is simply fictitious, and might safely be discarded as of 
purely inventive kind, were it only from the fact of its supposing a 
whale to be provided with some mysterious reservoir of water from 
which it could eject copious streams, even when removed from the sea. 
The common notion regarding the "blowing" of the whale appears to 
be that which credits the animal with inhaling large quantities of wa- 
ter into its mouth, presumably in the act of nutrition. This water was 
then said to escape into the nostrils and to be ejected therefrom in the 
act of blowing. The behavior of a whale in the open sea at first sight 
favors this apparently simple explanation. Careering along in the full 
exercise of its mighty powers, the huge body is seen to dive and to 
reappear some distance off at the surface, discharging from its nostrils 
a shower of water and spray. The observation is correct enough as it 
stands, but the interpretation of the phenomena is erroneous. Apart 
from the anatomical difficulties in the way of explaining how water 
from the mouth could escape in such large quantities, and so persist- 
ently into the nostrils, there is not merely an utter want of purpose in 
this view of the act of " spouting," but we have also to consider that 
this act would materially interfere with the breathing of the animal. 
Hence a more rational exjdanation of what is implied in the " blow- 
ing" of the whales rests on the simple assertion that the water and 
spray do not in reality proceed from the blowhole, but consist of 
water forced upward into the air by the expiratory effort of the ani- 
mal. The whale begins the expiratory or " breathing-out " action of 
its lungs just before reaching the surface of the water, and the warm 
expired air therefore carries up with it the water lying above the head 
and blowholes of the ascending animal. That this view is correct is 
rendered highly probable, not merely by the observation of the breath- 
ing of young whales and porpoises kept in confinement, but also by 
the fact that the last portion of the " blow " consists of a white silvery 
spray or vapor, formed by the rapid condensation of the warm air 
from the lungs as it comes in contact with the colder atmosphere. 
The water received into the mouth escapes at the sides of the mouth, 
and does not enter the nostrils at all. 


The furnishings of the mouth of the whales include sundry remark- 
able structures peculiar to a certain family circle of these animals. 
Such are the " whalebone "-plates, furnishing a substance familiarly 
spoken of by everybody, but exemplifying at the same time a kind of 
material regarding the origin of which a tacit ignorance, sanctioned 
by the stolid indifference of many years' standing, commonly prevails. 
Whalebone, or " baleen," is a commodity occurring in one group of 
these animals only, this group being that of the whalebone whales 
(Balmnidoe), of which the Greenland or Right whale (Balcena mysti- 
cetus) is the most noteworthy example. From this whale the whale- 
bone of commerce is derived ; other and nearly related species such 
as the Rorquals and Furrowed whales possessing the whalebone- 
plates in a comparatively rudimentary state. The baleen occurs in 
the mouth of these whales, and is disposed in a curious fashion. It 
exists in the form of flat plates of triangular shape, each plate being 
fixed by its base in the palate. The inner side, or that next the center 
of the mouth, is strongly fringed by frayed-out whalebone fibers, the 
outer edge of each plate being straight. A double row of these tri- 
angular plates of baleen depends in the form of two great fringes from 
the palate of the whale ; and it would appear that each baleen-plate 
is in reality a compound structure, being composed of several smaller 
plates closely united. The largest plates lie to the outer side of the 
series, and in a full-grown whale may measure from eight to fourteen 
feet in length, and as many as 250 or 300 plates may exist on each 
side of the palate. 

The nature of these curious organs forms an appropriate subject of 
inquiry. It is exceedingly rare in nature to find an animal provided 
with organs or structures which have no affinity with organs in other 
and related animals. On the contrary, the. principle of likeness or 
" homology " teaches us that the most unwonted and curious structures 
in animal existence are for the most part modifications of common or- 
gans, or at any rate of parts which are represented under varying forms 
and guises in other animals. By aid of such a principle we discover 
that the fore-limb of a horse, the wing of a bird, and the paddle of a 
whale are essentially similar in fundamental structure, and in turn agree 
in all necessary details with the arm of man. Through the deductions 
of this science of tracing likenesses and correspondences between the 
organs of different animals, the zoologist has been taught that the " air- 
bladder" or " sound" of the fish is the forerunner of the lung of higher 
animals an inference proved by the fact that in some fishes, such as 
the curious Lepidosirens or "mud-fishes" of Africa and South Amer- 
ica, the air-bladder actually becomes lung-like, not merely in form but 
in function also. By means of this useful guide to the mysteries of 
animal structure, we note that the bony box in which the body of the 
tortoise or turtle is contained is formed by no new elements or parts, 
but consists chiefly of the greatly modified backbone and of the ribs 

VOL. XV. 16 


and scales of these animals. To what conclusion, then, does this same 
principle lead us respecting the nature of the baleen-plates in the mouth 
of the Greenland whale and its allies ? To a sufficiently certain, but 
at the same time startling thought, is the reply of the comparative 

If we examine the structure of the human mouth, or that of animals 
allied to man, we find that cavity to be lined by a delicate layer named 
epithelium. This epithelium consists really of a modification of the 
upper layer of the skin, and we see this modification familiarly in the 
difference between the skin of the face and the layer which is infolded 
to form the covering of the lips and the lining membrane of the mouth. 
No tissue is more familiar to the student of physiology than epithe- 
lium, composed as it is of epithelial cells or microscopic elements, which 
in one form or another are found in almost every important tissue of 
the body. The epithelium is a delicate tissue, as usually seen in man 
and vertebrate animals ; but in some instances it becomes hardened by 
the development of horny matter, and may then appear as a tissue of 
tolerably solid consistence. In the mouth of a cow or sheep, the epi- 
thelium of part of the upper jaw is found hardened and callous, and 
there forms a horny pad against which the front teeth of the lower jaw 
may bite in the act of mastication. It is exactly this epithelial layer, 
then, which becomes enormously developed in the whalebone whales 
to form the baleen-plates just described. That this is actually the case 
is ascertained by the development of the baleen-plates, as well as by 
their situation and relations to the gum and palate. And the recital 
becomes the more astonishing- when we consider that, from cells of 
microscopic size in other animals, structures of enormous extent may 
be developed in the whales. The baleen-plates possess a highly impor- 
tant office. They constitute a kind of huge strainer or sieve, the pos- 
session of which enables the whale to obtain its food in a convenient 
fashion. Whether or not Biblical scholars and commentators agree in 
regarding the " great fish " which wrought' calamity to the prophet 
Jonah as a special creation, and as an entirely different animal from 
the whale of to-day, the plain fact remains that a whale has a gullet 
of relatively small size when compared with the bulk of the animal. 
Fortunately, however, the faith of rational mankind is not pinned to 
literal interpretation of the untoward incident chronicled in Jonah, 
and, whale or no whale, it is curious to learn that the largest of ani- 
mals may in a manner be said to feed on some of the most diminutive 
of its fellows. In the far north, and in the surface-waters of the Arctic 
seas, myriads of minute organisms, closely allied to our whelks, and 
like mollusks, are found. Such are the " Sea-butterflies," or Pteropoda 
of the naturalist : little delicate creatures which paddle their way 
through the yielding waters by aid of the wing-like appendages spring- 
ing from the sides of the head and neck. These organisms are drawn 
into the mouth of the Greenland whale in veritable shoals, and as the 


literal flood of waters streams out of the sides of the mouth, the " sea- 
butterflies" are strained off therefrom, the savory morsels being re- 
tained by the fringed edges of the baleen-plates, and thereafter duly 
swallowed as food. 

An interesting speculation yet remains, however, regarding the 
origin and first development of these peculiar whalebone-structures. 
Advocates of the doctrine which assumes that animal forms and their 
belongings arise by gradual modifications of preexistent animals may 
be reasonably asked to explain the origin of the baleen-plates of the 
whales. Let us briefly hear what Mr. Darwin, as the spokesman of 
the party, has to say in reply to such an inquiry. Quoting a remark 
of an opponent regarding the whalebone, Mr. Darwin says, if the 
baleen " ' had once attained such a size and development as to be at 
all useful, then its preservation and augmentation within serviceable 
limits would be promoted by natural selection alone. But how to 
obtain the beginning of such useful development ? ' In answer," con- 
tinues Mr. Darwin (in his own words), "it may be asked, why should 
not the early progenitors of the whales with baleen have possessed 
a mouth constructed something like the lamellated beak of a duck. 
Ducks, like whales, subsist by sifting the mud and water ; and the 
family (of ducks) has sometimes been called Criblatores, or sifters." 
Mr. Darwin's reference to the duck's bill is peculiarly happy. The 
edges of the beak in these birds are fringed with a beautiful series of 
horny plates named lamellce, which serve as a straining apparatus as 
the birds grope for their food amid the mud of ponds and rivers. 
These plates are richly supplied with nervous filaments, and doubtless 
also some as organs of touch. Mr. Darwin is careful to add that he 
hopes he may not " be misconstrued into saying that the progenitors 
of whales did actually possess mouths lamellated like the beak of a 
duck. I only wish to show," he continues, " that this is not incredible, 
and that the immense plates of baleen in the Greenland whale might 
have been developed from such lamella? by finely graduated steps, each . 
of service to its possessor." 

In these last words, which we have italicized, lies the strength of 
Mr. Darwin's hypothesis. Nature will preserve and develop useful 
structures alone, and will leave the useless and unneeded to perish 
and decay. This, indeed, is the keynote of natural selection. Mr. 
Darwin next proceeds to examine in detail the plates and lamella? in 
the bill of a shoveler duck. He describes the horny plates, one hun- 
dred and eighty-eight in number, which " arise from the palate, and 
are attached by flexible membrane to the sides of the mandible." He 
further notes that these plates " in several respects resemble the plates 
of baleen in the mouth of a whale." If the head of a shoveler duck 
were made as long as the head of a species of whale in which the 
baleen-plates are only nine inches long, the duck's lamella? would be 
six inches in length. The head of the shoveler is about one eighteenth 


of the length of the head of such a whale, so that the difference in size 
between the duck's lamellae and the imperfect baleen-plates of this 
whale is not markedly disproportionate, after all. After the examina- 
tion of the beaks of various species of swimming-birds, Mr. Darwin 
arrives at the conclusion that " a member of the duck family with a 
beak constructed like that of the common goose, and adapted solely 
for grazing, or even a member with a beak having less well-developed 
lamellae, might be converted by small changes into a species like the 
Egyptian goose (which partly grazes and partly sifts mud) this into 
one like the common duck and, lastly, into one like the shoveler, 
provided with a beak almost exclusively adapted for sifting the water ; 
for this bird could hardly use any part of its beak, except the hooked 
tip for seizing or tearing solid food. The beak of a goose, as I may 
add," says Mr. Darwin, " might also be converted by small changes 
into one provided with prominent recurved teeth, like those of the 
Merganser (a member of the same family), serving for the widely 
different purpose of securing live fish." 

Mr. Darwin next endeavors to apply the moral of this interesting- 
sketch of probable modification of the bills of ducks to the case of the 
whales. If the stages of modification in these animals are hypotheti- 
cally so clear, may not the case of the whalebone-bearing whales be 
susceptible of like explanation ? A certain whale (JETyperoddon) be- 
longing to a small group known popularly as the "beaked whales," 
from the possession of a prominent beak or snout, has no true teeth, 
but bears rough, unequal knobs of horny nature in its palate. Here, 
therefore, is a beginning for the work of selection and development. 
Granted that these horny processes were useful to the animal in the 
prehension and tearing of food, then their subsequent development 
into more efficient organs is a warrantable inference if the order of 
living nature teaches us aright. From rudimentary knobs, a further 
stage of development would lead to an increase in which they may 
have attained the size of the lamellae of an Egyptian goose, which, as 
already remarked, are adapted both for sifting mud and for seizing 
food. A stage beyond, and we reach the shoveler's condition, "in 
which the lamellae would be two thirds of the length of the plates of 
baleen," in a species of whalebone whale {Balamojjtera) possessing a 
slight development of these organs. And from this point, the further 
gradations leading onward to the enormous developments seen in the 
Greenland whale itself, are easily enough traced. Hypothetically, 
therefore, the path of development is clear enough. Even if it be re- 
marked that the matter is entirely one of theory, not likely to be ever 
partly verified, far less proved at all, we may retort that any other ex- 
planation of the development of the organs of living beings, and of 
living beings themselves, must also be theoretical in its nature and 
as insusceptible of direct proof as are Mr. Darwin's ideas. But the 
thoughtful mind must select a side, and choose between probabilities ; 


and it is not too much to say that toward the side of the idea which 
advocates gradual modification and selection as the rule of life and 
nature, every unbiased student of natural science will by sheer force 
of circumstances be led to turn. 

The whalebone whales have no teeth, although the sperm whale 
possesses teeth in the lower jaw ; but thereby that is, as regards the 
teeth of whales at large hangs a tale of some importance, and to 
which our attention may be briefly directed. Among the paradoxes 
of living nature, no circumstances present more curious features than 
those relating to the so-called " rudimentary organs " of animals and 
plants ; the subject of these organs, and the lessons they are well 
calculated to teach, having been recently treated at some length in 
these pages. Now, the whales furnish several notable examples of the 
anomalies which apparently beset the pathways of development in 
animals. The adult whalebone whale is toothless, as has just been 
remarked ; and this fact becomes more than usually interesting when 
taken in connection with another, namely, that the young whale before 
birth possesses teeth, which are shed or absorbed, and in consequence 
disappear before it is born. These teeth never " cut the gum," and 
the upper jaw of the sperm whale presents us with a like phenomenon 
for consideration. Nor are the whales peculiar in this respect. The 
upper jaw of ruminant animals has no front teeth as may be seen 
by looking at the mouth of a cow or sheep yet the calf may possess 
rudimentary teeth in this situation, these teeth also disappearing be- 
fore birth. Now, what meaning, it may be asked, are we to attach to 
such phases of development ? Will any considerations regarding the 
necessity for preserving the "symmetry," or "type," of the animal 
form aid us here ; or will the old and overstrained argument from 
design enable us to comprehend why nature should provide a whale 
or a calf with teeth for which there is no conceivable use ? The only 
satisfying explanation which may be given of such anomalies may be 
couched in Darwin's own words. The embryonic teeth of the whales 
have a reference " to a former state of things." They have been re- 
tained by the power of inheritance. They are the ignoble remnants 
and descendants of teeth which once were powerful enough, and of 
organs with which the mighty tenants of the seas and oceans of the 
past may have waged war on their neighbors. Again, the laws and 
ideas of development stand out in bold relief as supplying the key to 
the enigma. Adopt the theory that "things are now just as they 
always were," and what can we say of rudimentary teeth, save that 
Nature is a blunderer at best, and that she exhibits a lavish waste of 
power in supplying animals with useless structures ? But choose the 
hypothesis of development, and we may see in the embryo-teeth the 
representatives of teeth which in the ancestors of our whales served 
all the purposes of such organs. Admit that, through disuse, they 
have become abortive and izseless ; and we may then, with some de- 


gree of satisfaction, explain their true nature. To use Darwin's 
simile, such rudiments are like letters in a word which have become 
obsolete in pronunciation, but which are retained in the spelling, and 
serve as a clew to the derivation of the word. 

In the course of these remarks allusion has been made to more than 
one species of whale, and it may, therefore, form a study of some in- 
terest if we endeavor, shortly, to gain an idea of the general relation- 
ship and degrees of affinity of the various members of this curious 
family-circle. The whale order includes several of the divisions to 
which the zoologist applies the name of " families," indicating, by 
this latter term, a close affinity in form, structure, and habits between 
the members of each group. First in importance among these fami- 
lies comes that of the whalebone whales (Balamidce). Here we find 
family characters in a head disproportionately large when compared 
with the body as a whole, while the muzzle is sloping, and of rounded 
conformation. Teeth are absent, as we have seen ; whalebone-plates 
fringe the palate ; and the " blowhole " is single, and exists on the top 
of the head. Such are the family characters in which the Greenland 
or Right whale and the still larger Rorqual participate along with the 
"finner" whales and "humpbacked" whales. There is no back fin 
in the Greenland whale, but the Rorquals and their neighbors possess 
this appendage. It need - hardly be said that, commercially, the former 
animal is of most importance ; while the Rorquals are famed as the 
largest of the whales. Specimens of the Rorqual have been captured 
exceeding a hundred feet in length. One specimen, measuring ninety- 
five feet in length, weighed 245 tons. Next in importance to the 
Greenland whale and its relatives may be mentioned the family 
Physeterid<%, of which the sperm whale is the representative form. 
Here, the head reaches literally enormous proportions, and may make 
up fully one third of the body. A blunt, square muzzle ; a lower jaw 
armed with teeth ; an absence of baleen-plates, and a front blowhole 
such are the characters of the sperm whale, which gives sperm-oil 
to the merchant, and spermaceti and ambergris to the man of drugs. 
A whole host of " small fry " present themselves as near relations of 
the whales, in the shape of the dolphins, porpoises, grampus, "bottle- 
noses," and other animals, including the famous narwhal, or sea-uni- 
corn, possessing the longest tooth in the world in the shape of a spiral 
ivory pole, of some eight or ten feet in length. Here also the Beluga 
'<itodon, or " white whale," finds a zoological home, this latter form 
being the species of which more than one specimen has been recently 
exhibited in London. The beluga, being a member of the dolphin 
family, is a " whale " by courtesy only. Like the other members of 
this group, its blowhole is single and crescentic in shape, and both 
jaws are well provided with teeth. But the beluga, unlike the dol- 
phins and porpoises, has no back fin, and its muzzle is blunt. This 
animal, however, is still certainly " very like a whale " in its general 


shape and aspect. Its creamy, white skin is certainly a peculiar fea- 
ture ; but the broad, horizontal tail-fin is well exemplified in this 
northern stranger, while the breathing habits of its group may also be 
studied superficially but satisfactorily on the specimen in question. 
The beluga inhabits the North American coast, at the mouths of the 
rivers on the Labrador and Hudson's Bay coast, while it is known to 
penetrate even to the Arctic regions. These whales are plentiful in 
the Gulf of St. Lawrence in spring and summer, and appear to mi- 
grate to the west coast of Greenland in October and November. The 
Esquimaux regard the beluga as their special prize, and contrive, with 
the aptitude for design which the necessities of savage existence teach, 
to utilize wellnigh every portion of its frame, even to the manufacture 
of a kind of animal-glass from its dried and transparent internal mem- 

But little space remains in which to treat of certain near relations 
and somewhat interesting allies of the whales. Such are the Manatees, 
or " sea-cows," and the Dugongs, collectively named Sirenia, in the 
category of zoologists. The origin of this latter name is attended with 
some degree of interest. It has been bestowed on these animals from 
their habit of assuming an upright or semi-erect posture in the water; 
their appearance in this position, and especially when viewed from a 
distance by the imaginative nautical mind, having doubtless laid a 
foundation, in fact, for the tales of " sirens " and " mermaids " anxious 
to lure sailors to destruction by their amatory numbers. Any one who 
has watched the countenance of a seal from a short distance must have 
been struck with the close resemblance to the human face which the 
countenance of these animals presents. Such a likeness is seen even to 
a greater degree in the sea-cows, which also possess the habit of fold- 
ing their " flippers," or swimming-paddles, across their chests, and, it 
is said, of holding the young to the breast in the act of nutrition by 
aid of the paddle-like fore-limbs. If I mistake not, Captain Sowerby 
mentions, in an account of his voyages, that the surgeon of the ship 
on one occasion came to him in a state of excitement to announce that 
he had seen a man swimming in the water close at hand; the supposed 
human being proving to be a manatee, which had been, doubtless, 
merely exercising a natural curiosity regarding the ship and its ten- 

These animals are near relatives of the whales, but differ from 
them, not merely in habits, but in bodily structure and conformation. 
They live an estuarine existence, rarely venturing out to sea. The 
manatees occur in the shallow waters and at the mouths of the great 
rivers of the Atlantic coasts of America and Africa. The dugongs 
inhabit the shores of the Indian Ocean, and are common on certain 
parts of the Australian coasts. There are only two living genera 
the manatees and dugongs of these animals; a third, the Rhytina 
Stelleri, having, like the famous Dodo, become extinct through its 


wholesale slaughter by man, in 1768, just twenty-seven years after it 
was first discovered by the voyager Behring on a small island lying off 
the Kamtchatkan coast. The Rhytina was a great unwieldy animal 
of some twenty-seven feet in length, and about twenty feet in circum- 
ference. It fell a ready prey to Behring and his crew, who were 
-located on the island for several months; the work of extermination 
being duly completed by subsequent voyagers who visited the island. 
The manatees are no strangers to London, since in 1875 one of these 
animals was to be seen disporting itself in the seal-tank in the gardens 
of the Zoological Society at Regent's Park. This specimen, a female 
of immature age, was brought from the Demerara coast, and was the 
first living specimen which had been brought to England, although 
attempts had been made in 1866 to procure these animals for the gar- 
dens at Regent's Park, one specimen, indeed, dying just before reach- 
ing Southampton. A member of the Manatee group, obtained from 
Trinidad, was recently exhibited in London, and the public, interested 
in the curious in zoology, were thus enabled to interview a living mem- 
ber of the Siren group, while comparative anatomists, in their turn, 
have been afforded a rich treat from the fate which awaits rare and 
common specimens having, as we write, overtaken the illustrious vis- 
itor in question. 

The manatees and dugongs possess bodies which, as regards their 
shape, may be described each as a great barrel " long drawn out." No 
hinder limbs are developed, this latter peculiarity distinguishing them 
from the seals, and relating them to the whales. The hide is very 
tough, sparsely covered with hair, and most nearly resembles that of 
the hippopotamus. The "flippers," or paddle-like limbs, are placed 
far forward on the body, and on the edge of the paddle rudimentary 
nails are developed ; while concealed beneath the skin of the paddle 
we find the complete skeleton of an arm or fore-limb. The tail is 
broad, horizontally flattened, like that of the whales, and forms an 
effective propeller. These animals are vegetable feeders, the Zoologi- 
cal Society's specimen having exhibited a strong partiality for lettuce 
and vegetable-marrow. In a state of nature the sea-cows crop the 
marine vegetation which fringes their native shores. The remaining 
outward features of interest in these creatures may be summed up by 
saying that no back fins are developed ; that the eyes are very small 
and inconspicuous; and that, although the anterior nostrils are never 
used as " blowholes," they can be closed at will like the nostrils of the 
seals a faculty of needful kind in aquatic animals. To the technical 
anatomist, the sea-cows present strong points of resemblance to some 
of the hoofed quadrupeds. The anatomical examination of these ani- 
mals has shown that their peculiarities are not limited to their out- 
ward appearance and habits. It is not generally known, for example, 
that the neck of the vast majority of mammals consists of seven ver- 
tebrae or segments of the spine. Man thus possesses this number in 


common with the giraffe, the elongation of whose neck is produced 
not by introduction of new vertebra?, but by the great development 
of the normal number, seven. The manatees, however, present a very 
remarkable exception to this most general of rules, in that they pos- 
sess only six vertebrae in their necks. The only other exceptions to the 
rule of seven, as the normal number of neck-vertebra? in quadrupeds, 
are found in one species of sloth which has six vertebra? like the mana- 
tee, and in another kind of sloth which possesses nine. Then, also, 
the manatees possess a heart of very curious conformation, its apex or 
tip being widely cleft or divided a feature much more plainly marked 
in these animals than in the elephants and seals, whose hearts, anatomi- 
cally speaking, are also divided. The manatees possess well-developed 
molars or grinding teeth, but have no front teeth in the adult state. 
Like the whalebone whale, however,- the young manatee bas front 
teeth, these again disappearing before birth, and presenting us once 
more with examples of rudimentary organs which possess a reference 
" to a former state of things." 

What evidence is at hand respecting the remote ancestors of the 
whales and their neighbors ? is a question which may form a fitting 
conclusion to these brief details of the family history of the group. 
The geological evidence shows us that the whales are comparatively 
"recent" forms, speaking geologically, and dealing notwithstanding 
the word " recent " with very remote and immense periods of time. 
Among the oldest fossil whales we find one form in particular (Zeug- 
lodon) which had teeth of larger kind than are possessed by any 
living whale, this creature being by some authorities regarded as link- 
ing the whales with the seals. The fossil remains of Zcuglodon and 
its neighbors first occur in Eocene rocks that is, in the oldest forma- 
tions of the Tertiary series, and in rocks of relatively " recent " nature. 
These remarkable creatures were as gigantic as their living representa- 
tives. One species is known to have attained a length of seventy feet. 
Their remains are of such frequent occurrence in the " Jackson Beds " 
of the United States, that Professor Dana remarks: "The large ver- 
tebra?, some of them a foot and a half long and a foot in diameter, 
were formerly so abundant over the country in Alabama, that they 
were used for making walls, or were burned to rid the fields of them." 
The teeth of this curious monster of the vasty Eocene deep were of 
two kinds, and included front teeth of conical shape, and grinders or 
molars ; the latter exhibiting a striking peculiarity in that they were 
formed each of two halves, or teeth united by their crowns, but sepa- 
rated at their roots. Zeuglodon appears to connect the whales and 
their neighbors with the seals and walruses, and thus in one sense may 
be said to constitute, if not a " missing link," at least an intermediate 
form of anomalous kind, when viewed relatively to the existing ceta- 
ceans. According to the geological evideuce at hand, we may assume 
that the modifications which have produced the existing whales and 


their neighbors are of comparatively recent date, and that their adap- 
tation to an aquatic life is a thing but of yesterday when compared 
with the duration of previous neons in the history of our globe. 

Gentleman's Magazine. 


By Professor GKANT ALLEN. 

" ~| TARDLY any view advanced in this work," says the illustrious 
-J L author of the " Descent of Man," " has met with so much dis- 
favor as the explanation of the loss of hair in mankind through sexual 
selection." Indeed, the friends and foes of Mr. Darwin's great theories 
have been equally ready, the one party to disclaim and the other party 
to ridicule the account which the founder of modern philosophic biol- 
ogy has given of the process whereby man, as he supposes, gradually 
lost the common hairy covering of other mammalia. Mr. Wallace, 
with all his ability and ingenuity, finds it necessary to call in the aid 
of a deus ex machina to explain the absence of so useful and desirable 
an adjunct ; for he believes that natural selection could never have 
produced this result, and he therefore feels compelled to put it off 
upon " some intelligent power," since he denies altogether the exist- 
ence of sexual selection as a vera causa. Mr. J. J. Murphy, in his 
recently published revision of " Habit and Intelligence," has taken up 
the same ground with a more directly hostile intent ; and Spengel has 
also forcibly given expression to his dissent on the plea of inadequate 
evidence for the supposed preference. It seems highly desirable, 
therefore, to prop up Mr. Darwin's theory by any external supports 
which observation or analogy may suggest, and if possible to show 
some original groundwork in the shape of a natural tendency to hair- 
lessness, upon which sexual selection might afterward exert itself so as 
to increase and accelerate the depilatory process when once set up. 

The curious facts for which we have to account are something 
more than the mere general hairlessness of the human species. In 
man alone, as Mr. Wallace clearly puts the case, " the hairy covering 
of the body has almost totally disappeared ; and, what is very re- 
markable, it has disappeared more completely from the back than 
from any other part of the body. Bearded and beardless races alike 
have the back smooth, and even when a considerable quantity of hair 
appears on the limbs and breast, the back, and especially the spinal 
region, is absolutely free, thus completely reversing the characteristics 
of all other mammalia." When we consider the comparatively help- 
less condition to which man has been thus reduced, as well as the 
almost universal human practice of substituting artificial clothing, 


derived from the skins or wool of other animals, for the natural ap- 
parel which the species has so unaccountably lost, it does not seem 
surprising that even Mr. Wallace should be staggered by the difficulty, 
and should fall back upon an essentially supernatural explanation. 

The great key to the whole problem lies, it would seem, in the fact 
thus forced upon our attention, that the back of man forms the special- 
ly hairless region of his body. Hence we must conclude that it is in 
all probability the first part which became entirely denuded of hair. 
Is there any analogy elsewhere which will enable us to explain the 
original loss of covering in this the normally hairiest portion of the 
typical mammalian body? The erect position of man appears imme- 
diately to suggest the required analogy in the most hairless region of 
other mammals. 

Almost all animals except man habitually lie upon the under surface 
of the body. Hence arises a conspicuous difference between the back 
and the lower side. This difference is seen even in lizards, crocodiles, 
and other reptiles, among which, as a rule, the tegumentary modifica- 
tions of the under surface are much less extended and less highly 
differentiated than those of the upper. It is seen among birds, which 
usually have the plumage far less copious on the breast than on the 
back. But it is most especially noticeable in mammals, which have 
frequently the under side almost entirely bare of hair, while the back 
is covered with a copious crop. Now, it would seem as though this 
scantiness of natural clothing on the under side were due to long- 
continued pressure against the ground, causing the hair to be worn 
away, and being hereditarily transmitted in its effects to descendants. 
We are, therefore, led to inquire whether all parts of the mammalian 
body which come into frequent contact with other objects are specially 
liable to lose their hair. 

The answer seems to be an easy one. The soles of the feet in all 
mammals are quite hairless where they touch the ground. The palms 
of the hands in the quadrumana present the same phenomenon. The 
knees of those species which frequently kneel, such as camels and 
other ruminants, are apt to become bare and hard-skinned. The cal- 
losities of the Old- World monkeys, which sit upon their haunches, are 
other cases in point ; but they do not occur among the more strictly 
arboreal quadrumana of the American Continent, nor among the 
lemurs, for the habits of these two classes in this respect are more 
similar to those of ordinary mammals. On the other hand, the New- 
World monkeys possess a prehensile tail, with which they frequently 
swing from bough to bough or lower themselves to the ground, and in 
these creatures, says Cuvier, " la partie prenante de la queue est nue 
en dessous." Wherever we find a similar organ, no matter how 
widely different may be the structure and genealogy of the animals 
which possess it, we always find the prehensile portion free from hair. 
This is the case with the marsupial tarsipes, with many rodents, and 


above all with the opossum, which uses its tail quite as much as any 
monkey uses its hands. Accordingly, its surface is quite bare from 
end to end, and in some species scaly a fact which is rendered more 
comprehensible when we remember that the young opossums are car- 
ried on their mother's back, and hold themselves in that position by 
curling their tails around hers. 

A few more special facts help to bear out the same generalization. 
In the gorilla, according to Du Chaillu, "the skin on the back of 
the fingers, near the middle phalanx, is callous and very thick, which 
shows that the most usual mode of progression of the animal is on all- 
fours and resting on the knuckles." The ornithorhyncus has a flat 
tail, on which it leans for support, and this, says Mr. Waterhouse, 
" is short, depressed, and very broad, and covered with coarse hairs ; 
these, however, are generally worn off on the under side of the tail 
in adult or aged individuals, probably by the friction of the ground." 
The toes of the very large fore-feet, used in burrowing, are also naked, 
as are the similar organs in the mole and many other creatures of 
like habit. The beaver likewise uses his tail as a support, flaps it 
much in the water, and is said, perhaps not quite erroneously, to em- 
ploy it as a trowel in constructing his dams ; and this tail is entirely 
devoid of hair, being covered instead with a coat of scales. We can 
hardly avoid being struck in this instance, as in that of some seals' 
and sea-lions' flappers, with the analogy of the penguin's wings, which 
are employed like fins in diving, and have undergone a similar trans- 
formation of their feathers into a scale-like form. In the ground- 
kangaroos, which use the tail as a support trailing behind them on the 
ground, that organ is again only slightly covered with coarse hairs, 
almost entirely wanting on the extremity of the under surface ; but 
in the tree-kangaroos, which carry the tail partly erect, it assumes a 
bushly and ornamental appearance. Like differences occur between 
the rats and mice on the one hand and the squirrels on the other. In 
those monkeys which, like Macacus brunneus, sit upon their tails, that 
organ is also bare. To multiply further instances would only prove 

Again, when we look at the only mammals besides man which 
have denuded themselves of their hairy covering, we find that a great 
majority of them are water-frequenters. The most completely aquatic 
mammals, like the whales, porpoises, dugongs, and manatees, though 
differing widely in structure, are alike in the almost total absence of 
hair, while the hippopotamus is likewise a smooth-skinned animal. 
Now, the friction of water is of course far stronger than that of air, 
and it Avould seem to have resulted in the total depilation of these 
very aquatic species. Other less confirmed water-haunters, such as 
seals and otters, have very close fur, which scarcely at all retards them 
in their movements when swimming. The elephant and rhinoceros 
are, indeed, difficult cases to explain ; but of course it is not necessary 


to suppose that no other cause save that which we are considering can 
ever produce hairlessness. It will be enough if we can show that the 
cause actually under examination does with reasonable certainty bring- 
about such an effect. 

If, then, the portion of animals which generally comes in contact 
with the ground or other external bodies acquires in this manner a 
hairless condition shown alike in hands, feet, tail, and belly what 
will be the result upon animals which are gradually acquiring the 
erect position ? Of this we can obtain an almost complete series by 
looking first at the beaver, which rests upon its scaly tail alone ; then 
at the baboons, which rest upon the naked callosities on their haunches ; 
thirdly, at the gorilla ; and, last of all, at mankind. 

The gorilla, according to Professor Gervais, is the only mammal 
which agrees with man in having the hair thinner on the back, where 
it is partly rubbed off, than on the lower surface. This is a most im- 
portant approach to a marked human peculiarity, and is well worthy 
of investigation. " I have myself come upon fresh traces of a goril- 
la's bed on several occasions," says Du Chaillu, " and could see that 
the male had seated himself with his back against a tree-trunk. In 
fact, on the back of the male gorilla there is generally a patch on 
which the hair is worn thin from this position, while the nest-building 
Troglodytes calvus, or bald-headed nshiego, which constantly sleeps 
under its leafy shelter on a tree-branch, has this bare place on its side, 
and in quite a different way. . . . When I surprised a pair of gorillas," 
he observes elsewhere, " the male was generally sitting down on a rock 
or against a tree." Once more, in a third passage he writes : " In both 
male and female the hair is found worn off the back ; but this is only 
found in very old females. This is occasioned, I suppose, by their 
resting at night against trees, at whose base they sleep." And, when 
we inquire into the difference between the sexes thus disclosed, we 
learn that the female and young generally sleep in trees, while the 
male places, himself in the position above described against the trunk. 

The gorilla has only very partially acquired the erect position, and 
probably sits but little in the attitudes common to man. But if a 
developing anthropoid ape were to grow more and more upright in his 
carriage, and to lie more and more upon his back and sides, we might 
naturally expect that the hair upon those portions of his body would 
grow thinner and thinner, and that the usual characteristics of the 
mammalia as to dorsal and sternal pilosity would be completely 
reversed. This is just what has probably happened in the case of 
man. In proportion as he grew more erect, he must have lain less 
and less upon his stomach, and more and more upon his back or sides. 
For fully developed man, with the peculiar set of his neck, face, and 
limbs, it is almost impossible to rest upon his stomach. On the other 
hand, all savage races lie far more upon their backs than even Euro- 
peans with their sofas, couches, and easy-chairs ; for the natural posi- 


tion of savage man during his lazy hours is to stretch himself on the 
ground in the sun, with his eyes closed, and with his back propped, 
where possible, by a slight mound or the wall of his hut. Any person 
who has lived much among negroes or South Sea Islanders must have 
noticed how constant is this attitude with men, women, and children, 
at every stray idle moment. 

Nor must we forget the peculiar manner in which human mothers 
must necessarily have carried their infants from a very early period 
in the development of our race. During the first eighteen months of 
life the human infant must always be held, or laid, more or less upon 
its back ; and this position will probably tend to check the develop- 
ment of hair upon the dorsal and lateral regions. 

Next, let us ask what is the actual distribution of hair upon the 
body of man. Omitting those portions where the ornamental use of 
hair has specially preserved it, the most hairy region is generally, so far 
as my observations go, the fore part of the leg or shin. Obviously this 
is a region very little likely to come in contact with external objects. 
On the other hand, the most absolutely hairless places are the palms of 
the hands and the soles of the feet, after which come the elbows, and 
at a long interval the knees and knuckles. The back is very hairless, 
and so are the haunches. But the legs are more hairy than the body, 
both in front and behind, though less hairy on the calf than on the 
shin. Now, it will be obvious that both by day and night we rest more 
upon our backs and haunches than upon our legs, the latter being free 
when we sit down on a chair or bench, doubled in front of us when we 
squat on the ground (the normal position of savages), and thrown about 
loosely when we lie down. Especially might we conclude that this 
would be the case with early races, unembarrassed by the weight of 
bedclothes. As for the arms, it is noticeable that they still retain the 
ordinary mammalian habit in being hairier on the back than on the 
front ; and this also is quite in accordance with our present suggestion, 
because the same differentiating causes have not worked upon the arm 
as they work upon the back and legs. The peculiar position of the 
anterior extremities in man, together with the erect posture, makes the 
arms come much more frequently into frictional contact with the body 
or clothing on their inner than on their outer surface. Hair grows 
most abundantly where there is normally least friction, and vice versa. 
As for the hair which frequently appears upon the chest of robust 
Europeans and others, I shall return to that point at a later stage. It 
may be noted, however, that while the first joint of the fingers is hairy, 
the second joint, answering to the callosity of the gorilla, is generally 

As man, then, gradually assumed the erect attitude and the re- 
versed habits of sitting and lying down which it necessarily involves, 
it seems to me that he must have begun to lose the hair upon his back. 
But such a partial loss will not fully account for his present very hair- 


less condition over the whole body (with trifling exceptions) in the 
average of all sexes, races, and ages. For this further and complete 
denudation I think we must agree with Mr. Darwin in invoking the 
aid of sexual selection, especially when we take into consideration the 
ornamental and regular character of the hairy adjuncts which man 
still retains. 

In the first place, we have external reasons for believing that sexual 
selection has produced similar results elsewhere, acting upon a like 
basis of natural denudation. For among the mandrills and some other 
monkeys the naked callosities, originally produced, as is here sug- 
gested, by physical friction, have been utilized for the display of beau- 
tiful pigments ; and Mr. Bartlett informed Mr. Darwin that as the 
animals reach maturity the naked surfaces grow larger in comparison 
with the size of the body. When we look at the great definiteness 
and strange coloring of these bare patches we can hardly doubt that 
they have been subjected to some such selective process. 

But if man once began to lose the hair over the whole of his back, 
shoulders, and haunches, as well as more partially upon his sides, legs, 
and arms, he would soon present an intermediate half -hairy appearance 
which is certainly very ludicrous and shabby-looking. Why this mid- 
dle stage should displease us, it might be rash to guess ; yet one may 
remember that as a rule throughout the mammalia a partially hairless 
body would be associated with manginess, disease, and deformity. At 
any rate, it seems to be the fact that, when animals once begin losing 
their hair, they go on to lose it altogether. One may well believe that 
among our evolving semi-human ancestors those individuals which had 
most completely divested themselves of hair would be the most at- 
tractive to their mates ; and these would also on the average be those 
which had most fully adopted the erect attitude with its accompanying 
alterations of habit. Thus natural selection would go hand in hand 
with sexual selection (as I believe it always does), those anthropoids 
which most nearly approached the yet unrealized standard of humanity 
being most likely to select one another as mates, and their offspring 
being most likely to survive in the struggle for life with their less 
anthropoid competitors.* It does not seem probable, to me at least, 
that a naturally hairy species would entirely divest itself of its hair 
through sexual selection, especially as the first steps of such a process 
could hardly fail to render it a mongrel-looking and miserable crea- 
ture ; but it seems natural enough that, if the original impulse was 
given by a physical denudation, the influence of sexual selection would 
rapidly strengthen and complete the process. Indeed, if a hairy animal 
once began losing its hair, the only beauty which it could aim at would 
be that of a smooth and shiny naked black skin. 

Woman is the sex most affected in mankind by sexual selection, as 

* On the advantages which man or his half-developed ancestor derived from the erect 
or semi-erect position, see Darwin, " Descent of Man," p. 53. 


has been often abundantly shown. Hence we should naturally expect 
the denudation to proceed further in her case than in that of man. 
Especially among savage and naked races we should conclude that 
hairlessness on the body would be esteemed a beauty ; and Ave find as 
a matter of fact that most such races have absolutely smooth and 
glistening skins. But in Europe men often develop hair about the 
chest and legs, though not upon the back and shoulders, while women 
seldom or never do so. Here we see that the hair reappears in the 
less differentiated male sex rather than in the more differentiated 
females, with whom sexual selection has produced greater effects ; 
while it also reappears only on those parts where the original denudat- 
ing causes do not exert any influence. Similarly, the smooth-bodied 
negroes, transported to America, and subjected at once to a change of 
conditions and to circumstances which would render sexual selection 
impossible as regards the hairlessness of the body, rapidly redevelop 
hair upon the chest. For we must remember that sexual selection can 
only act in this direction while a race remains wholly or mainly naked. 
Clothing, by concealing the greater part of the skin, necessarily con- 
fines the selective process to features, complexion, and figure. 

As to the poll, beard, whiskers of certain races, we must believe 
that they are the result of selective preferences acting upon general 
tendencies derived from earlier ancestors, and perhaps aided in the 
first-mentioned instance by natural selection. The comparative defi- 
niteness of these hairy patches, as of the callosities in the monkeys, 
stamps them at once as of sexual origin. The poll is probably derived 
by us from some of our anthropoid ancestors, as crests of hair fre- 
quently appear upon the heads of the quadrumana. But as man grad- 
ually became more erect and less forestine, as he took to haunting 
open plains and living more in the sunlight, the existence of such a 
natural covering, as a protection from excessive heat and light upon 
the head, would doubtless prove of advantage to him ; and it might, 
therefore, very possibly be preserved by natural selection. Certainly 
it is noticeable that this thick mat of hair occurs in the part of his 
body which the erect position most exposes to the sunlight, and is thus 
adaptively analogous to the ridge of hair which runs along the spine 
or top of the back in many quadrupeds, and which is not visible in 
any quadrumanous animal that I have examined. The beard also 
bears marks of a quadrumanous origin, as Mr. Darwin has shown ; but 
its varying presence or absence in certain races affords us a good clew 
to the general course of evolution in this particular. For among the 
bearded races a fine and flowing beard is universally admired ; while 
among the beardless races stray hairs are carefully eradicated, thus 
displaying the same aversion to the intermediate or half-hairy state 
which, as I suppose, has been mainly instrumental in completely de- 
nuding the body of man. Certainly it is a fact that while we can 
admire a European with a full and handsome development of hair 



upon the chin and lip, and while we can admire an African or a North 
American Indian with a smooth and glossy cheek, we turn with dislike 
from thin and scanty hair either in a European, a negro, or an Asiatic. 
It seems to me that in every case the general aesthetic feeling of the 
whole human race is the same ; but that in one tribe circumstances 
have made it easier to produce one type of beauty, while in another 
tribe other conditions have determined the production of another type. 
Thus, in a negro, a very black and lustrous skin, clear bright eyes, 
white teeth, and a general conformity to the normal or average negro 
features are decidedly pleasant even to Europeans when once the or- 
dinary standard has become familiar ; * while in a European the same 
eyes and teeth are admired, but a white skin, a rosy complexion, and 
moderate conformity to the ideal Aryan type are demanded. Each is 
alike pretty after its own kind, though naturally the race to which we 
each ourselves belong possesses in most cases the greatest attractive- 
ness to each of us individually. 

Of course, both in the beard of man, and in the general hairiness 
of his body, as compared with woman, allowance must be made for 
that universal tendency of the male to produce extended tegumentary 
modifications, which, as Mr. Wallace has abundantly shown, depends 
upon the superior vigor of that sex. Yet the period when the beard 
first shows itself and the loss of color in the hair of both sexes after 
the reproductive period is past clearly stamp these modifications as 
sexual in origin. 

It must be remembered also, in accounting for the general loss of 
hair on both back and front of the body, that the older ancestral hered- 
ity would tend to make the chest bare, and the newer acquired habits 
would tend to produce like results upon the back. " In the adult male 
of the gorilla," says Du Chaillu, " the chest is bare. In the young 
males which I kept in captivity it was thinly covered with hair. In 
the female the mammae have but a slight development and the breast 
is bare." All this helps us to see how the first steps in the sexually 
selective process might have taken place, and also why the trunk is on 
the whole more denuded than the legs. As for the exceptional fact 
that the arms are hairier on the back than in front, besides the func- 
tional explanation already given, we must recollect that the anthropoid 
apes have long hair on the outer side of the arms, which has probably 
left this slight memento of its former existence on the human subject. 
Eschricht has pointed out the curious fact that alike in man and the 
higher quadrumana this hair has a convergent direction toward the 
point of the elbow, both from above and from below. 

Finally, it may be noted that the hairless condition of man, though 

* The mutilations of the face and other parts, which often make savages so ugly in 
our eyes, though not in their own, are due, as Mr. Herbert Spencer ha's shown, not to 
{esthetic intentions, but to originally subordinative practices, as marks of subjection to a 
conquering king or race. 
VOL. XT. 17 


apparently a disadvantage to him, has probably been indirectly instru- 
mental in helping him to attain his present exalted position in the or- 
ganic scale. For if, as is here suggested, it originally arose from the 
reactions of the erect attitude, it must have been associated from the 
first with the most human-like among our ancestors. Again, if it was 
completed by sexual selection, it must also have been associated with 
the most aesthetic individuals among the evolving species. And if, as 
we have seen reason to believe, these two qualities would tend to ac- 
company one another, then this slight relative disadvantage would be 
pretty constantly correlated with other and greater advantages, phys- 
ical and intellectual, which enabled the young species to hold its own 
against other competing organisms. But, granting this, the disadvan- 
tage in question would naturally spur on the half-developed ancestors 
of man to seek such artificial aids in the way of clothing, shelter, and 
ornament, as would ultimately lead to many of our existing arts. We 
may class the hairlessness of man, therefore, with such other apparent 
disadvantages as the helpless infancy of his young, which, by neces- 
sitating greater care and affection, indirectly produces new faculties 
and stronger bonds of union, and ultimately brings about the existence 
of the family and the tribe or nation. And if we look back at the 
peculiarities which distinguish placental from implacental mammals, 
the mammalia generally from birds, and birds from reptiles, we shall 
see that in every case exactly similar apparent disadvantages have 
been mainly instrumental -in producing the higher faculties of each 
successive vertebrate development. Hence it would seem that the 
hairless condition of man, instead of requiring for its explanation a 
special intervention of some supernatural agent, is strictly in accord- 
ance with a universal principle, which has brought about all the best 
and highest features of the most advanced animal types through the 
unaided agency of natural selection. Fortnightly Review. 


WILLIAM KINGDON CLIFFORD was born at Exeter, May 4, 
1845, and at the time of his death, which occurred on the 3d 
of March, he had therefore not reached the age of thirty-four years. 
His father was a justice of the peace, and his mother, from whom he 
inherited a portion of his genius and his constitutional weakness, died 
early. He first attended the school of Mr. Templeton, of that city, 
and went to King's College, London, in 1860. In 1863 he entered at 
Trinity College, Cambridge, in which he secured a foundation scholar- 
ship and got the honor of second wrangler in the mathematical Tripos 
of 1867. Soon after taking his degree he was elected to a fellowship 


at Trinity College, filling the post until his appointment to the chair 
of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics at University College, London, 
in August, 1871, a position which he held until his death. Professor 
Clifford was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in June, 1874. He 
took prizes and honors wherever he went, which was the more remark- 
able, as his mind could not tolerate the usual school restraints, and he 
could not be induced to give much attention to the regular subjects of 
examination. He had consumption, which greatly impaired his work- 
ing power in the latter portion of his life ; and he died on the island 
of Madeira, where he had gone with his wife and two children to get 
the benefit of its milder climate. 

Clifford was a genius, and brilliant from his boyhood. He early de- 
veloped rare mathematical talent, and published the " Analogues of 
Pascal's Theorem" in the "Quarterly Journal of Mathematics" at the 
age of eighteen. His mind was at home in all highest mathematical 
questions, to which he made many profound and original contributions. 
Professor Sylvester remarked, " All that Professor Clifford adds is the 
very pith and marrow of the matter." Just before his death he pub- 
lished a little mathematical work, " The Elements of Dynamic," in 
which his faculty for the subject is fully displayed. It will probably 
not take high rank as a university text-book, for which it was intended, 
but is admired by mathematicians for the elegance, freshness, and origi- 
nality displayed in the treatment of mathematical problems. 

Clifford had no special taste for the acquisition of languages, but 
was interested in their mechanism, and took interest in short-hand, 
phonography, and telegraphic alphabets. Later in life, however, he 
mastered modern Greek and Spanish, and dabbled in Arabic and San- 
skrit, which, in addition to his earlier Greek and Latin, French and 
German, landed him pretty heavily in the direction of vocabularies. 

He was an early and devoted student of classics, and held extreme 
High-Church notions when he went to Cambridge. In his knowledge 
of the " Fathers " he is said to have surpassed the bishops, and his 
theological acquirements were of great use to him in his polemical and 
critical discussions. Not satisfied in addressing that very small portion 
of the public that understands mathematics, versatile in his powers, 
and of a restless temperament, he was powerfully attracted to those 
great subjects of scientific and speculative inquiry that have lately be- 
come so prominent in the world of thought. Into this field he entered 
vigorously, and made a strong impression upon the reading public by 
various able and elaborate articles which appeared in the " Fortnight- 
ly " and " Contemporary " Reviews, and in " The Nineteenth Century." 
He was an extreme and uncompromising rationalist, and although per- 
sonally greatly liked on account of his gentleness and affability, he made 
many enemies by the relentless severity of his writing on topics that 
are conventionally handled with delicacy and caution. He discussed 
a variety of philosophical subjects, always in a striking and attractive 


manner, but can hardly be said to have developed any theories or sys- 
tem of his own. 

As. an expositor, Professor Clifford was peculiarly and remarkably 
gifted. Aside from his mathematical attainments, this was the intel- 
lectual quality for which he was the most distinguished. His power 
in this direction is thus described by the "Pall Mall Gazette" : " His 
faculty of explaining the results of scientific investigation in ordinary 
language, and to persons having little or no special preparation, was 
such as to amount of itself to genius. The grasp and width of his 
imagination enabled him to deal freely with the very ideas of the 
higher mathematics, unfettered by the symbolical expressions and ma- 
chinery which had first made their conception possible ; and he trans- 
lated the ideas into forms of wonderful simplicity for hearers who little 
suspected the height and difficulty of .the achievement. Long ago, in 
Cambridge days, he would discuss some complicated theorem of solid 
geometry, without aid of paper or diagram, in such a way as to make 
the whole thing seem visibly embodied in space and self-evident. Where 
the text-books gave a chaos of algebraical manipulation, he would in- 
stantly seize the real facts and relations and bring them out into mani- 
fest light. Nor did this power fail him even in the most arduous flights 
of modern geometrical speculation. He was the first in this country to 
see and enforce the important philosophical bearings of what is called 
imaginary geometry. His last published paper which saw the light 
only a few days before we knew that his work was irrevocably ended, 
was devoted to explaining with singular felicity and clearness the ulti- 
mate foundations of the science of number." The capacity here re- 
ferred to was so unique and remarkable in Professor Clifford as to win 
for him a somewhat exaggerated reputation for originality ; that is, 
he would so vividly and ingeniously present a difficult subject as al- 
most to make the views expounded his own. 

Among his other accomplishments, Clifford was a skillful gymnast, 
and as original in his performances as in his intellectual work. He 
was always executing some striking or eccentric feat, such as hanging 
head downward, by his toes, and drinking a glass of wine without 
spilling it ; or going up to his room in the college by the water-spout 
and through the window, instead of the regular staircase. He had 
more pride in the invention of adventurous and daring gymnastic feats 
than in his intellectual work. He seems, indeed, to have used his 
gymnastic exercises as expressions of his genius rather than as means 
of promoting health. He was of a slender constitution, which was 
ever on the strain, in one direction or another ; and there is reason to 
think that he was deficient in the important art of taking care of him- 
self, and that, if he had conformed to the first requirement of moral- 
ity, the duty of doing good to the nature that was in his own charge, 
he might have done, far more good to the world by a prolonged and 
increasingly useful life. 


What shall we say of an education or a culture which not only 
fails to teach a man how to continue his own life, but which is itself 
the means of destroying it ? On this point Clifford's intimate friend, 
Pollock, writing about him in " The Fortnightly Review," says : " This 
was the perilous excess in his own frame of nervous energy over con- 
stitutional strength and endurance. He was able to call upon himself, 
with a facility which in the result was fatal, for the expenditure of 
power in ways and to an extent which only a very strong constitution 
could have permanently supported ; and here the constitution was 
feeble. He tried experiments on himself when he ought to have been 
taking precautions. He thought, I believe, that he was really training 
his body to versatility and disregard of circumstances, and fancied 
himself to be making investments when he was in fact living on his 
capital. At Cambridge he would constantly sit up most of the night 
working or talking. In London it was not very different, and once or 
twice he wrote the whole night through ; and this without any pro- 
portionate reduction of his occupations in more usual hours. The 
paper on ' The Unseen Universe ' was composed in this way, except a 
page or two at the beginning, at a single sitting which lasted from a 
quarter to ten in the evening till nine o'clock the following morning. 
So, too, was the article on Virchow's address. But Clifford's rashness 
extended much further than this one particular. He could not be in- 
duced, or only with the utmost difficulty, to pay even moderate atten- 
tion to the cautions and observances which are commonly and aptly 
described as taking care of one's self. Had he been asked if it was 
wrong to neglect the conditions of health in one's own person, as well 
as to approve or tolerate their neglect on a larger scale, he would cer- 
tainly have answered ' Yes.' But to be careful about himself was a 
thing that never occurred to him." 

We append a portion of the estimate of Clifford made in the col- 
umns of the " Saturday Review " : " The unexpected news of the 
death of Professor Clifford at Madeira will have brought sadness to an 
unusally large body of devoted friends, who had hoped that his strength 
had not waned so far that it might not be recovered under the in- 
fluence of the mild climate to which he had gone. Nor will it be only 
by those who had the pleasure of a personal acquaintance with Profes- 
sor Clifford that the news of his untimely death will be deeply felt. 
Few men who have passed away at so early an age have been so cen- 
tral a figure as he was in the view of a large portion of the most highly 
educated among us ; and still fewer have achieved this distinction, 
while at the same time they retained the esteem and admiration of the 
select few who were competent to estimate their powers and know 
whether they had been put to a worthy use. But it was always his 
fate to be conspicuous in whatever circumstances or society he was 
placed. This was primarily due to his intellectual power, for, without 
the wonderful rapidity and vigor of thought which he possessed, such 


a reputation as his could not have been sustained ; but it was in no 
small degree due also to the peculiar originality of his character, both 
intellectual and moral, and to the absolutely tireless energy of his versa- 
tile mind. 

" Those who remember Cambridge some ten or fifteen years ago will 
readily call to mind his fame while an undergraduate there. From 
the time when he came up to the university, with the high reputation 
which he had won while a schoolboy, to the time he left it some eight 
years afterward to become Professor of Mathematics at University 
College, London, he was more universally known and discussed among 
all classes at the university, whether undergraduates, graduates, or 
dons, than any of his contemporaries. He was indeed at all times a 
contrast to the normal type. At first, when fresh from school, he ap- 
peared as an ardent High Churchman, but he gradually became known 
as a devoted follower of Mr. Herbert Spencer, and as the champion of 
those views with which his name has since been identified. But, what- 
ever was the precise phase of thought in which he might be, there was 
the same brilliant though paradoxical style of asserting and defending 
his beliefs which made him the terror of authorities and the delight of 
younger men. He never was in any sense the head of a party there. He 
was far too eccentric and original to have many followers or imitators. 
But no one had a wider circle of intimate friends, and no one could 
be in intimate intercourse with him without being deeply influenced 
by his views ; and it was at that time chiefly by his direct influence 
on those personally acquainted with him that he produced his effect on 
the university. But the many-sidedness of his character caused this 
direct personal influence to be much more widely extended than would 
have seemed possible to those unacquainted with him. Gifted with an 
almost equal love for science, mathematics, history, and literature 
we may even add gymnastics he was the center of a knot of devotees 
of each of these studies, each of whom welcomed him as a comrade and 
regarded with jealousy his attention to other subjects as being likely 
to seduce him from the true bent of his genius into less important and 
congenial studies. And no doubt it was a fortunate thing in this in- 
stance that the arrangements for retaining the ablest men at the Eng- 
lish universities are so imperfect, that Professor Clifford found no cer- 
tainty of sufficient scope for his energies there, and resolved to leave 
that abode of learned leisure, and come to London, to become a mathe- 
matical professor, inasmuch as it was this that prevented him from 
wasting his life in desultory essays in a great variety of directions. No 
doubt all of these would have shown a power which would have made 
them remarkable, but they would have been dearly purchased by the 
sacrifice of the far greater and more abiding results that followed the 
concentration of his energies on the one or two subjects to which he 
devoted himself after his departure from the university. 

" When resident in London the same qualities that had won him so 


many friends at Cambridge still stood him in good stead, and he 
rapidly drew round him a large circle of warm friends and admirers, 
among whom might be found almost all the best known names in sci- 
ence or literature. This power of winding the affections of those who 
were most worthy of friendship was due mainly to the peculiarly win- 
ning gentleness and tenderness which characterized him, and made it 
impossible to resist the charm of personal intercourse with him. Al- 
though the nature of his opinions and his style of championing them 
raised him countless enemies among those who knew him only from 
his writings and lectures, yet there was no school of thought among 
the members of which he did not possess some intimate friends. How- 
ever widely their opinions might differ, it seemed to be quite impossi- 
ble for any one to feel hostility toward him after becoming personally 
acquainted with him. The versatility of his mind aided this greatly, 
for it gave to his conversation a charm which was quite peculiar, and 
which was felt alike by the most different classes of minds. There 
was no subject from which he used not to draw apt illustrations or 
expressive metaphors, which came clothed in language as quaint and 
as original as it was appropriate. Whatever he discussed seemed to 
become full of suggestiveness. These qualities gave great additional 
value to his mathematical lectures. 

" With his style of teaching, the most valuable part of the instruc- 
tion was the indirect effect of the lessons ; the actual matter in hand 
was distinctly subordinate to the general training in the fundamental 
ideas and principles of the subject which its discussion enabled him 
to give. Everything was treated from the point of view in which it 
least needed the aid of artificial methods and conventions, so that 
its direct connection with the broad underlying principles common 
to a whole class of subjects might be immediately perceived. This 
dislike to artificial methods was almost a passion with him. He had 
great faith in the superiority of this style of teaching, and always 
maintained that it was the easiest as well as the best, a proposition to 
which the experience of most teachers would not lead them to assent. 
Perhaps it was his own special power of clear exposition which en- 
abled him to succeed so well in thus handling his subjects in their most 
general form, instead of starting from simple and particular cases, and 
only taking up more general theorems after the simpler ones had been 
mastered by his pupils ; but, whether or not this was the case, it is 
certain that he had all the success in his teaching that he could desire. 

" It is a signal proof of the beauty of Professor Clifford's personal 
character that, in forming an estimate of him, one should so naturally 
and inevitably think first of his general qualities, and only in the sec- 
ond place of his claims to fame as a mathematician. For it was in the 
latter character that he first gained his great reputation, and it is 
in that that his claims to genius are the strongest. No one of his 
contemporaries ever approached Professor Clifford in his marvelous. 


power over the intricate and abstruse branches of mathematics to 
which he gave his main affections, and to find his equal we should 
have to look among veterans whose names will for ever be identified 
with these subjects. Such was his prodigious grasp over the phantoms 
that people these remoter regions of thought, that while little more 
than a boy he seemed fit to take his place among the masters of these 
studies. And there can be no doubt that, if the innate restlessness of 
his nature would have permitted him to accept the quiet of a mathe- 
matician's life, he might have left behind him what would have en- 
titled him to take rank as one of our greatest mathematicians. But it 
is hard to forego the pleasure of using powers which one is conscious 
of possessing, and the temptation to which the versatility of his mind 
subjected him was wellnigh fatal to his reputation as a specialist. Ev- 
ery now and then something would turn his energy into these lines, 
and he would show by some fragment what magnificent work he was 
capable of doing ; but it was for a long time doubtful whether he would 
ever do justice to himself in this respect, and by more continuous ap- 
plication to some special subject produce results worthy of his powers. 
As time went on, however, this changed ; during the last few years 
there were fewer signs of the old desultoriness, and both in his ' Ele- 
ments of Dynamic ' and his various mathematical papers there were 
abundant traces of the concentration of effort which alone was needed 
to secure success. But, alas ! this was only too speedily succeeded by 
the leisure of the sick-bed. Perhaps it was the feeling of decaying 
strength which first made Professor Clifford limit the sphere of his 
efforts, and seek to finish some of his many projects, instead of form- 
ing new ones. Whether this was so or not, it was not the less a gain 
to the world, though even now what we possess should be considered 
only as indications of what his powers would have been when fully 
developed. Few, if any, have done such brilliant work and yet died 
leaving us to feel that it must be taken only as the promise, and not 
as the measure, of their powers. 

" But what the mathematical world lost in this want of specializa- 
tion of Professor Clifford's powers was gained by the general educated 
public. His powers as a scientific expositor were as remarkable as 
his mathematical abilities. His talent did not lie in experimental illus- 
tration ; on the contrary, he seldom, if ever, resorted to it. Nor did 
he ever condescend to the nurse-like prattle by which some scientific 
lecturers make themselves comprehensible to the meanest intellects 
but to those only. There was not a sentence, or a scientific statement, 
in one of Professor Clifford's lectures of which he need have been 
ashamed in an address to the most scientific or learned society." 





To the Editors of the Popular Science Monthly. 

IN your February number, the article on 
" The Old Phrenology and the New," by 
Dr. Andrew Wilson, struck me as having 
been conceived not only with some degree 
of prejudice, but a lack of sufficient care in 
reference to facts. I will refer you to one 
case which relates to Mr. Gage, who had an 
iron bar driven through his brain by a blast- 
ing accident. Dr. Wilson conveys the idea 
that his mental faculties were unaffected by 
this most extraordinary injury and loss of 
brain. Dr. J. M. Harlow, now of Woburn, 
Massachusetts, had charge of the case, and 
followed with great care the wanderings of 
this young man, after he recovered from his 
injury ; and after his death, which occurred 
in California, twelve years after the accident, 
he was able to get the cranium and the iron 
bar that passed through it, and presented 
them, with a detailed account of the case, 
to the Massachusetts Medical Society ; and 
they are now in the Museum of Harvard Col- 
lege. In this paper Dr. Harlow says, in ref- 
erence to the changad condition of the 
mental faculties : " His physical health is 
good, and I am inclined to say he has re- 
covered. Has no pain in head, but says it 
has a queer feeling which he is not able to 
describe. Applied for his situation as fore- 
man, but is undecided whether to work or 
travel. His contractors, who regarded him 
as the most efficient and capable foreman in 

their employ previous to bis injury, consid- 
ered the change in his mind so marked that 
they could not give him his place again. 
The equilibrium or balance, so to speak, be- 
tween his intellectual faculties and animal 
propensities seems to have been destroyed. 
He is fitful, irreverent, indulging at times in 
the grossest profanity (which was not pre- 
viously his custom), manifesting but little 
deference for his fellows, impatient of re- 
straint or advice when it conflicts with his 
desires, at times pertinaciously obstinate, 
yet capricious and vacillating, devising many 
plans of future operations, which are no 
sooner arranged than they are abandoned 
in tumi for others appearing more feasible. 
A child in his intellectual capacity and man- 
ifestations, he has the animal passions of a 
strong man. Previous to his injury, though 
untrained in the schools, he possessed a well- 
balanced mind, aud was looked upon by 
those who knew him as a shrewd, smart busi- 
ness man, very energetic and persistent in 
executing all his plans of operation. In this 
regard his mind was radically changed, so 
decided that his friends and acquaintances 
said he was ' no longer Gage.' " 

In this case of injury of the brain and 
recovery, unparalleled, and of world-wide 
interest, I deem it proper that the error in 
reference to the condition of the intellectual 
faculties should be corrected through your 
periodical. Truly, 

John Clough. 
Wobutoj, Massachusetts, Marcli 31, 1ST9. 



THE circular of Messrs. Harper, an- 
nouncing that they will favor an in- 
ternational copyright measure, is justly 
regarded by the English press as sig- 
nificant in relation to the progress of 
the question, and they have made it 
the occasion of general comment. The 
tone of criticism is dissonant and, on 
the whole, encouraging, though, as has 
become the habit, predominantly abu- 
sive and carping. But it must he con- 
fessed that Harpers 1 circular was some- 

what calculated to provoke hostile Eng- 
lish criticism. The conditions under 
which they are willing to concede to 
foreign authors the legal right of prop- 
erty in their works, which are not only 
that the books shall be manufactured 
in this country, but by American citi- 
zens, and published within three months 
after their issue at home, are denounced 
as so illiberal as to he hardly worth 
entertaining. The London "Times," 
in a first article upon the subject, was 
disposed to " welcome the result " on 
the ground that something is gained 

2 66 


when "the principle of piracy has been 
abandoned, and the black flag of litera- 
ture hauled down." But in a second 
article the view taken is less favorable. 
It sees numerous difficulties, and thinks 
" there is very little use in discussing 
these farcical proposals which the pub- 
lishers of the transatlantic cities have 
elaborated." It thinks the proposition 
to throw open the power of publishing 
books to everybody, subject to the 
obligation of paying a royalty to the 
author to be fixed by law, is " not yet 
sufficiently discussed." And so, on the 
whole, it concludes that we had better 
postpone the subject, and wait for some- 
thing more satisfactory. 

The "Times," however, is disingenu- 
ous in characterizing the plan suggested 
by Messrs. Harper as elaborated by the 
publishers of transatlantic cities. That 
house speaks only for itself, and does 
not undertake to represent other Amer- 
ican publishers. Both the proviso that 
the publisher shall be an American citi- 
zen, and the time-limit assigned for 
reprinting, will be held by others as 
not essential to the American position, 
and as open to modification in settling 
the details of an international arrange- 

We speak of the " American posi- 
tion," and are fairly justified in doing 
so, for there is now wide and decisive 
agreement that foreign books copyright- 
ed in this country, must be manufac- 
tured in this country. In granting the 
copyright to English authors, and plac- 
ing them upon the same footing as our 
own, we yield all the rights of the case 
that can be demanded in the name of 
justice. Every nation that grants copy- 
rights even to its own authors, qualifies 
and limits them by considerations of 
public expediency, it being assumed that 
the community has duties to itself as 
well as to authors. This country would vindicated byuniversal pre- 
cedents in giving the new arrangements 
such a form that they will not be inju- 
rious to important American interests. 

The requirement that foreign books 
copyrighted in this country shall be 
printed in this country is dictated by the 
first law of nature the principle of 
self-preservation. Any international 
copyright that did not enforce this 
condition would be destructive to an ex- 
tensive and valuable domestic industry, 
and would put the American book-mar- 
ket at once and completely under the 
control of foreign publishers, thousands 
of miles away from us. Under a state of 
things which, although it may not have 
been just, has nevertheless been legal, 
the publishing interest in the United 
States has grown into extensive propor- 
tions. We have numerous manufactur- 
ing establishments of all kinds for every 
branch of the business. We have heavy 
investments in paper manufactories, 
printing-houses, binderies, and shops for 
making all the necessary machinery, 
and we have multitudes of trained me- 
chanics to carry on the required opera- 

Whether all this capital shall be 
sunk, and all this industry paralyzed, 
and a reading people shall cease to 
supply itself with books in accordance 
with its own tastes and preferences, 
depends upon the form of copyright 
adopted, if that measure is to be carried 
out. And when it is remembered that 
the foreign publisher has no claims upon 
us whatever, and that we discharge all 
our obligations in protecting the prop- 
erty rights of the foreign author, it is 
obvious that every consideration of na- 
tional expediency dictates that we should 
take care of our own interests in this 

It is usual to represent the policy 
here maintained as inspired by the 
greed of mercenary and monopolizing 
American publishers. It is no such 
thing. It is life or death to the whole 
business. To yield the point is to trans- 
fer the American book-trade almost 
bodily to England. In requiring copy- 
righted books to be printed here, the 
American publisher only stipulates for 



an equal chance with the English pub- 
lisher, which he could not have if this 
measure is put upon any other basis. 
We say let the English publisher come 
over and compete with us if he wishes 
to. All we ask is equal terms, and that 
he shall not be given that fatal ad- 
vantage of us which he would get by 
an unrestricted copyright. 

But it may be said that tins is an 
illiberal policy ; and that, when all the 
tendencies of international intercourse 
are in the direction of freedom and ex- 
pansion, such a scheme as this is nar- 
row and obstructive. The "Times" 
virtually charges this, in saying " the 
gross delusions of protection may ex- 
tend to cover the book-selling business 
as well as the making of cotton cloths 
and the forging of iron." And yet the 
burden of English complaint for the 
last fifty years has been that our trade 
in English books is quite too free, and 
our policy liberal and lax to a most 
scandalous extent. What they have de- 
manded is, that we contravene this free- 
dom of commerce by restrictive legis- 
lation. Copyright is the antagonist of 
free trade. Were perfect liberty of com- 
merce proclaimed to-morrow between 
nations (as it now exists between the 
States of this nation), international 
copyright would make books an ex- 
ception by protecting them from all 
competing production and open traffic. 
The author by his copyright invests his 
publisher with a monopoly, by which 
he controls and restricts the trade in 
his book to any extent that pleases him. 
With an unqualified international copy- 
right, and the fullest freedom of trade 
otherwise, the London publishers would 
rule the market in this country for all 
the works of English authors. Ameri- 
can publishers would be excluded from 
competition with them. We hold that 
the principle of copyright is wise, as it 
is the only practical way yet devised by 
which an author can have secured to 
him the available right of property in 
his book, and we demand that English 

authors shall have the full benefit of it, 
but on no principle of liberal trade ar- 
rangements can we be asked to subject 
our book markets to the exclusive con- 
trol of English manufacturers. 

The " Times " says that the great 
American houses have been driven into 
this position of favoring an international 
copyright, by the interference of " some 
Chicago men" who are cutting into and 
underselling the established firms of 
New York and Philadelphia. That cut- 
throat proceeding, as it is a natural con- 
sequence of the existing system, is cer- 
tainly a valid reason for condemning 
the system and putting an end to it. 
But the " Times " misrepresents the 
facts in saying that this is the origin 
of the plan of international copyright 
now under consideration. Its own col- 
umns might have been consulted for a 
confutation of the statement. The pro- 
ject of international copyright, in be- 
half of English authors, was urged long 
before the Chicago raids referred to 
were undertaken, and it was explicit- 
ly presented to the English people by 
ah American publisher writing in the 
"Times" as early as 1871. 

The writer objects that, by the plan 
proposed, "the English author is not 
to be allowed the rights of an ordinary 
possessor of property." But does it 
expect that the Americans will go fur- 
ther than the English themselves, in 
protecting the rights of their authors ? 
Is it not now, and has it not long been, 
the policy of the English Government 
to deny to its authors " the rights of an 
ordinary possessor of property " in his 
literary creations, and does it not pro- 
tect them as mere favors and transient 
privileges which are left to expire after 
a few years ? Again, the writer in the 
" Times" accuses us of robbing the au- 
thor of half his rights. He may, if so 
minded, take the remainder, as "half 
the recognition of a right must have 
some value." To be paid the full price 
for his work, according to contracts that 
he may make with any publisher among 



forty millions of people, thus appears to 
be only half what we owe to the English 
author. The implication is, that his 
right to force his foreign publisher 
upon us is just as clear and strong as 
his right of property in the book he 
has produced. This absurd proposition 
is of course assumed not argued. 


Singularly enough, the time when 
men know least of this world is the 
time when they profess to know most 
of the other. The primitive man is 
first of all a believer in ghosts. While 
so ignorant that he can not count ten, 
he yet has a theory of a future life. 
Strip the civilized man of his acquire- 
ments and get down to the primal 
core of savagery, and you find him a 
spiritualist. At a time when all inter- 
pretations of nature were illusive, and 
in fact engendered by these illusions, 
there arose the notion of a ghost realm, 
occupied by phantoms of the departed 
dead, who can still communicate with 
living men and interfere in human af- 
fairs. And, as these causes are com- 
mon to the lowest tribes, so the super- 
stitions are universal in the savage 

And they were not mere idle spec- 
ulations. The other world was held to 
be of far greater moment to man than 
this world, because of the power of its 
spirits over the fate of mankind. But, 
although potent and dangerous, the 
ghosts of the dead were supposed to be 
still accessible to human influence. It 
was believed that they could be pro- 
pitiated by supplications, offerings, and 
sacrifices, which took endless forms as 
religious rites among the lower races. 
So completely, indeed, were men en- 
slaved to their spiritualistic fancies 
that life itself had not the slightest 
value when there was supposed to be 
some other-world inducement for de- 
stroying it. Men were immolated with- 

out hesitation to please or appease the 
ghosts of another sphere. This world 
was ruled with the most savage ferocity 
in the supposed interests of the next. 
The amount of human sacrifice of de- 
liberate butchery of human beings 
that has been occasioned by gross spir- 
itual delusions relating to another life 
is appalling to think upon. Starting 
with the idea of an imaginary sphere, 
filled with grim shadows to be placated 
or honored, men, women, and children 
have been slaughtered by countless 
thousands at religious altars, at funer- 
als, and at tombs. Their souls were sent 
to accompany dead chiefs, wives were 
burned on funeral piles to accompany 
their husbands, some were sent to carry 
messages to the spirits, some to propi- 
tiate ill-natured demons, and the whole 
proceeding serves to demonstrate the 
terrible intensity of the primitive belief 
that the other world is everything and 
this world nothing. 

These practices, originating in pri- 
meval spiritualism, in the infantine 
stages of society, are by no means con- 
fined to those stages ; they continue on 
as society advances. Among the Mexi- 
cans, for example, after they had be- 
come considerably civilized, such was 
the bloody fervor of their spiritualism 
that human sacrifices, on a great scale, 
were part of their system of religious 
rites. "We are told that " every great 
man's chaplain was slain to perform for 
him religious ceremonies in the next 
life as in this " ; again, " The number of 
victims was proportioned to the gran- 
deur of the funeral, and amounted some- 
times, as historians affirm, to two hun- 
dred." Also, in Peru, " when an Inca 
died, his attendants and favorite concu- 
bines, amounting sometimes, it is said, 
to a thousand, were immolated on his 

These ideas and practices having 
the most terrible sincerity and severity 
where the darkness of human ignorance 
is thickest, being most widespread and 
deeply rooted in the lowest barbarism, 



we should expect that with the growth 
of intelligence they would disappear. 
But this process is very slow. The 
superstitions became the nucleus of or- 
ganized religions, and are contained in 
a thousand theologies. Yet these be- 
liefs at length lose their grosser forms ; 
many of them are dissipated, others mod- 
ified. They influence men's conduct less 
and less, and are finally held as mere 
empty traditional beliefs. Just in pro- 
portion to the increase of men's knowl- 
edge of nature, superstition has relaxed 
its stringency. As science grows, and 
the exploration and cultivation of this 
world become more absorbing, there is 
necessarily less attention given to the 
other world. This is deplored by many 
as a decline of faith. They raise loud 
lamentations over the decay of religion, 
the apathy of churches, the spread of 
materialism, and the extension and 
deepening of scientific influence. As a 
consequence, we now and then find men 
brooding over this state of things until 
the restraints of reason and common 
sense give way, and they announce them- 
selves as divinely called upon to per- 
form some great work that shall startle 
a faithless age, and kindle anew the old 
fervor of spiritualistic belief. Two such , 
relapses into rank primeval superstition 
have recently occurred. 

Charles F. Freeman, of Cape Cod, 
the other day piously sacrificed the life 
of his little daughter, in obedience to 
what he supposed to be a spiritual man- 
date from the other world. He was a 
Second Adventist, and full of intense 
belief in the miraculous coming of Christ 
to rescue the world from unbelief. 
Whether he attended the great Second 
Advent Convention that was held in 
New York last year we do not know, 
but he evidently laid to heart its incul- 
cation of the duty of literally interpret- 
ing the Scriptures. He is reported as 
an assiduous Bible student, who quotes 
Scripture with great fluency, and is 
ready with an apposite text for every 
doctrine that he maintains. The old 

Hebrews indulged in the same sangui- 
nary practices as other barbaric tribes. 
In their books there are records of one 
father sacrificing his daughter, and of 
another father preparing to immolate 
his only son. Freeman had, no doubt, 
often heard these transactions discussed 
in the pulpit, and Abraham applauded 
for the strength of his faith. If such a 
test was ever necessary, he thought it 
a thousand times more necessary in this 
faithless age than ever before; so he 
killed his child, at what he claims to be 
the peremptory requirement of the De- 
ity he worshiped, that a miracle might 
be performed, and his faith displayed 
before an unbelieving generation. The 
whole ghastly affair is simply an in- 
stance of survival of one of the spirit- 
ual usages of savagery, when blood- 
thirsty devils were regular objects of 

Another case of falling back into 
the mental condition of barbarism has 
been recently atforded by the Superin- 
tendent of Schools of the City of New 
York, Mr. Henry Kiddle. Yielding to 
that morbid craving after the marvel- 
ous, which is a distinctive mark of 
undeveloped or retrograded natures, 
he had been exploiting mediums, and 
comes forward with what he calls a 
revelation from the spiritual sphere. 
Two members of his family have been 
for some time talking to him the iaost 
demented drivel, which he accepts as 
spiritual communications, or messages 
from the ghostly inhabitants of another 
world ; all of which he has minutely 
written down and published in a book. 
Kiddle, like Freeman, as the newspa- 
pers avouch, is "very conscientious," 
" thoroughly sincere," " profoundly in 
earnest," etc., and there is no doubt of 
the genuineness of his credulity. We 
have looked over his book, and found 
it to consist of the merest rubbish. Mr. 
Kiddle says of these communications, in 
his preface, that he " hioics they are not 
the offspring of imposture or delusion. 
They come from the world of spirits. 



This is solemnly attested as a fact unde- 
niable and irrefutable." Now, when 
Mr. Kiddle declares that he Icnoios there 
is no delusion in the matter, he simply 
means that he solemnly believes it, 
which is the basis on which the mys- 
teries of another world have been re- 
vealed from the earliest origin of these 
superstitions. He gives exactly the 
kind of evidence that would require us 
to believe all the insane hallucinations 
of our lunatic asylums, for no man is 
so undeniably and irrefutably sure that 
he is not deluded as a madman. 

Freeman had a mission, and regard- 
ed himself divinely chosen for a great 
work. So does Kiddle. He is commis- 
sioned to open new relations with' the 
unseen world. He announces " a new 
spiritual revelation," a "a new dispensa- 
tion of religious light," showing "the 
existence of a future world." Under an 
"obligation imposed upon the editor by 
Divine Providence," he promulgates " a 
revelation of the future destiny of man- 
kind, of transcendent importance to 
them both here and hereafter." And 
so all the old spiritual revelations are 
failures ; the existence of a future world 
remained still to be proved ; and the 
human race having struggled in vain 
for thousands of years to arrive at this 
truth of transcendent moment, Mr. 
Kiddle arrives at it by the aid of a 
couple of green mediums in the space 
of about nine months ! Fortunate Mr. 
Kiddle ! 

Curiously enough, the Superintend- 
ent of Schools of the City of New York, 
who has given his life to the interests 
of knowledge, now gives notice that he 
has not a very high opinion of the later 
tendencies of science, and in this he is 
not alone. But he further intimates 
that his revelations of a supersensuous 
world may be designed by Heaven to 
thwart the influence of this bad science. 
We quote a passage from his introduc- 
tory chapter, and beg the reader to no- 
tice that what follows is not from a 
spirit, but from Kiddle himself: 

"When distinguished scientists sneSr- 
ingly ask : ' Who has ever seen the soul 
with the very best microscope that can 
be made? What physiologist h as ever 
found any human spirit in his most 
minute dissections?' when the proud 
scientist, filled with vainglory by the 
discovery of some of the laws of light 
and heat, or puffed up with vanity be- 
cause he has caught a vision of some- 
thing which he daringly calls the 
'physical basis of life,' and, ready to 
fall down in adoration before his new- 
found deity, Protoplasm, announces 
that he finds in matter the 'promise and 
potency of every form of life ;' or when 
he cries 'Amen' to his brother scientist 
who has traced, by the law of evolution 
and the ' survival of the fittest,' to a com- 
mon origin himself and all the rest of 
the animal creation, and glories in his 
quadrumanous ancestry when such is 
the age in which we live an age char- 
acterized by the worst forms of irreli- 
gion is it improbable that the All-Mer- 
ciful Father should come again to the 
rescue of his benighted creatures, and 
for this purpose should in part unveil 
the glories of the supersensuous world 
to which all are tending? " 

Mr. Kiddle's book, as this extract 
alone illustrates, is a very debilitated 
piece of intellectual work. Our first 
impression was that the man had un- 
dertaken to perpetrate a huge joke, but 
we became soon convinced that he is 
not himself. Various indications sug- 
gest an unhealthy state of mind, that 
is probably caused by some exhaustion 
or failure of the brain. The sudden- 
ness of his change of conduct at the 
age of fifty-five in regard to spiritual- 
ism ; the slyness with which all was 
done, even to the printing of his book; 
his obstinacy in refusing to listen to rea- 
son and remonstrance in matters where 
others are concerned ; and his egotis- 
tic hallucination in supposing himself 
divinely called upon to do a great re- 
ligious work these, taken in connec- 
tion with the imbecile and idiotic 



character of his book, show mental 
unsoundness, and suggest that the 
mind's organ is not in a proper condi- 
tion. One thing is certain : the maker 
of such a book is not a fit man to be in 
charge of educational interests. If he 
is beside himself, that ends it; if not, 
the case is still worse : the Board of 
Education should have granted him 
leave of absence, and sent him away to 


The International Scientific Series, No. 
XXVI. Modern Chromatics, with Ap- 
plications to Art and Industry. By 
Ogden N. Rood, Professor of Physics in 
Columbia College. With 130 Original 
Illustrations. D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 
329. Price, $1.15. 

In his contribution to the " International 
Scientific Series" of a volume on modern 
chromatics, Professor Rood has filled a gap 
in the scientific literature not only of this, 
but also of European countries. There was 
wanted a well-executed popular treatise on 
the science of color for general readers, in 
which they will find a familiar and satisfac- 
tory explanation of chromatic phenomena 
as they are now interpreted, and as illus- 
trated in the aspects of nature and in the 
applications of art. 

Professor Rood was asked to prepare 
such a volume for this series because he 
possesses in an eminent degree the qualifi- 
cations necessary to do justice to the sub- 
ject. In the first place, he was specially 
prepared to undertake it by his education 
and training as an experimental physicist. 
At home in this general field of research, 
with an aptitude for subtile and refined in- 
vestigations, he has always been particular- 
ly interested in this line of inquiry, and has 
attained a European reputation as an au- 
thority upon the subject. From this point 
of view, probably, no man was so well 
equipped to make an instructive volume on 
chromatics that should be fully up to the 
times as Professor Rood. 

But he possesses another qualification 
which is no less important for the work. 
He is himself an artist, with both enthusi- 

asm and a true genius for the profession, 
and who has devoted much time to drawing 
and painting. His sketches are prized by 
many who are so fortunate as to possess 
them, and it is well understood that, if he 
had chosen to devote himself to it, he would 
have attained preeminent distinction as an 
artist. This combination of scientific knowl- 
edge with practical experience in the art 
of managing colors could not fail to be of 
great advantage. Numerous questions and 
problems relating to chromatics which are 
interesting and important to artists came 
before him, and were elucidated with such 
skill and useful results that he was callel 
upon to give lectures, explaining his views, 
before the art classes at the New York Acad- 
emy of Design. 

When solicited to prepare the present 
volume, Professor Rood replied that he was 
not a book-maker, and had no inclination 
merely to compile or to write a volume upon 
the science of color. He said that to make 
such a book valuable in the present state of 
the subject would involve a very consid- 
erable amount of scientific investigation in 
clearing up numerous points to get the work 
in anything like satisfactory shape. For 
these researches time would be necessary, 
which would inevitably delay the publica- 
tion. The volume was prepared under these 
conditions, so that, in a very important 
sense, it is a new work. Every chapter of 
it bears witness to the patient and pains- 
taking solicitude of the author to make his 
statements clear, valid, and complete. A 
consultation of his index will show to how 
large a degree the volume is original. Only 
results and explanation are given in the text, ' 
and those who care to go over the experi- 
mental demonstrations by which they have 
been reached will consult the scientific peri- 
odicals in which the descriptive papers are 
to appear. 

Professor Rood, as we have intimated, 
declines to classify himself as a book-maker, 
and does not seem to have ever been trou- 
bled in the slightest degree with the ambi- 
tion of authorship. He has written many 
technical papers for scientific journals, which 
may be thought rather a poor apprentice- 
ship for getting up a popular book. But 
he has attained a degree of excellence in 
the literary art of his book which is not a 



little surprising ; it has the rare merit of 
being written in a style suited to its object. 
It is clear, simple, direct, and puts the mat- 
ter before the reader in a straightforward, 
common-sense way, so as thoroughly to in- 
terest him in the subject. 

The work is full of fresh illustrations, 
drawn by the author, and exhibiting new 
points and relations of the subject, and a 
chromatic plate is prefixed to the volume, 
which has something the character of a key, 
and will be specially useful to those who 
may desire to color the diagrams in the 
book. One of the most interesting features 
of the volume is the large number of in- 
structive and attractive experiments in col- 
ors which it describes or indicates. 

The work is strictly systematic, and 
treats the subject of chromatics comprehen- 
sively, as will be seen by glancing at the 
titles of the chapters.* We can give no 
idea of the real scope of the work by any 
analysis of its contents, or even a conspec- 
tus of the new ideas and suggestions con- 
tributed by the author ; but some of his 
observations in Chapter XVIII., on " Color 
in Painting and Decoration," are so sugges- 
tive in relation to a subject occupying a 
good deal of public attention at present, 
that we quote them : 

The aims of painting and decorative art are 
quite divergent, and as a logical consequence it 
results that the use made by them of color is es- 
sentially different. The object of painting is tho 
production, by the use of color, of more or less 
perfect representations of natural objects. These 
attempts are always made in a serious spirit ; 
that is, they are always accompanied by some 
earnest effort at realization. If the work is done 
directly from nature, and is at the same time 

* Chapter I., Transmission and Reflection of 
Light ; II., Production of Color by Dispersion ; 
III., Constants of Color ; IV., Production of Col- 
or by Interference and Polarization ; V., Colors 
of Opalescent Media; VI., Production of Color 
by Fluorescence and Phosphorescence ; VII., 
Production of Color by Absorption; VIII., Ab- 
normal Perception of Color and Color-Blind- 
ness; IX., Young's Theory of Color; X., Mix- 
ture of Colors ; XI., Complementary Colors ; 
XII., Effects produced on Color by a Change of 
Luminosity, and by mixing it with White Light ; 
XIII., Duration of the Impression on the Retina; 
XIV., Modes of arranging Colors in Systems ; 
XV., Contrast ; XVI., The Small Interval and 
Gradation ; XVII. , Combinations of Colors in 
Pairs and Triads ; XVIII., Painting and Deco- 
ration. Note on Two Recent Theories of Color. 

elaborate, it will consist of an attempt to repre- 
sent, not all the facts presented by the scene, 
but only certain classes of facts, namely, such as 
are considered by the artist most important or 
most pictorial, or to harmonize best with each 
other. If it is a mere sketch, it will include not 
nearly so many facts ; and finally, if it is merely 
a rough color-note, it will contain perhaps only 
a few suggestions belonging to a single class. 
But in all this apparently careless and rough 
work the painter really deals with form, light 
and shade, and color, in a serious spirit, the 
conventionalisms that are introduced being ne- 
cessitated by lack of time or by choice of certain 
classes of facts to the exclusion of others. The 
same is true of imaginative painting : the form, 
light and shade, and color are such as might ex- 
ist or might be imagined to exist ; our funda- 
mental notions about these matters are not flat- 
ly contradicted. From this it follows that the 
painter is to a considerable extent restricted in 
the choice of his tints ; he must mainly use the 
pale unsaturated colors of nature, and must often 
employ color-combinations that would be reject- 
ed by the decorator. Unlike the latter, he makes 
enormous use of gradation in light and shade 
and in color; labors to express distance, and 
strives to carry the eye beneath the surface of 
his pigments ; is delighted to hide as it were his 
very color, and to leave the observer in doubt as 
to its nature. 

In decorative art, on the other hand, the 
main objeet is to beautify a surface by the use 
of color rather than to give a representation of 
the facts of nature. Rich and intense colors are 
often selected, and their effect is heightened 
by the free use of gold and silver or white and 
black ; combinations are chosen for their beauty 
and effectiveness, and no serious effort is made 
to lead the eye under the surface. Accurate 
representations of natural objects are avoided ; 
conventional substitutes are used; they serve to 
give variety and furnish an excuse for the intro- 
duction of color, which should be beautiful in 
itself apart from any reference to the object rep- 
resented. Accurate, realistic representations of 
natural objects mark the decline and decay of 
decorative art. A painting is a representation 
of something which is not present ; an orna- 
mented surface is essentially not a represen- 
tation of a beautiful absent object, but is the 
beautiful object itself; and we dislike to see it 
forsaking its childlike independence and at- 
tempting at the name time both to be and to 
represent something beautiful. Again, orna- 
mental color is used for the production of a re- 
sult which is delightful, while in painting the 
aim of the artist may be to represent sorrow, or 
even a tragic effect. From all this it follows that 
the ornamenter enjoys an amount of freedom in 
the original construction of his chromatic com- 
position which is denied to the painter, who is 
compelled by profession to treat nature with at 
least a fair degree of seeming respect. The gen- 
eral structure of the color-composition, how- 
ever, being once determined, the fancy and po- 
etic feeling even of the decorator are compelled 
to play within limits more narrow than would 



be supposed by the casual observer. It is not 
artistic or scientific rules that hedge up the 
path, but his own taste and feeling for color, 
and the desire to obtain the best result possible 
under the given conditions. In point of fact, 
color can only be used successfully by those who 
love it for its own sake apart from form, and 
who have a distinctly developed color-talent or 
-faculty ; training, or the observance of rules, 
will not supply or conceal the absence of this 
capacity in any individual case, however much 
they may do for the gradual color-education of 
the race. 

From the foregoing it is evident that the 
positions occupied by color in decoration and 
in painting are essentially different, color being 
used in the latter primarily as the means of ac- 
complishing an end, while in decoration it con- 
stitutes to a much greater degree the end itself. 
The links which connect decoration with paint- 
ing are very numerous, and the mode of employ- 
ing color varies considerably according as we 
deal with pure decoration, or with one of the 
stages where it begins to merge into painting. 

The simplest form of color-decoration is 
found in those cases where surfaces are en- 
livened with a uniform layer of color for the 
purpose of rendering their appearance more at- 
tractive : thus woven stuffs are dyed with uni- 
form hues, more or less bright. ; buildings are 
painted with various sober tints ; articles of 
furniture and their coverings are treated in a 
similar manner. 

The use of several colors upon the same sur- 
face gives rise to a more complicated species of 
ornamentation. In its very simplest form we 
have merely bands of color, or geometrical pat- 
terns made of squares, triangles, or hexagons. 
Here the artist has the maximum amount of 
freedom in the choice of color, the surfaces over 
which it is spread being of the same form and 
size, and hence of the same degree of impor- 
tance. In such cases the chromatic composition 
depends entirely on the taste and fancy of the 
decorator, who is much less restricted in his se- 
lection than with surfaces which from the start 
are unequal in size, and hence vary in impor- 
tance. After these simplest of all patterns fol- 
low those that are more complicated, such as 
arabesques, fanciful arrangements of straight 
and curved lines, or mere suggestions taken 
from leaves, flowers, feathers, and other ob- 
jects. Even in these, the choice of the colors 
is not necessarily influenced by the actual colors 
of the objects represented, but is regulated by 
artistic motives, so that the true colors of ob- 
jects are often replaced even by silver or gold. 
Advancing a step, we have natural objects, 
leaves, flowers, figures of men or animals, used 
as ornaments, but treated in a conventional 
manner, some attention, however, being paid 
to their natural or local colors, as well as to 
their actual forms. In such compositions the 
use of gold or silver as backgrounds or as 
tracery, also the constant employment of con- 
tours more or less decided, the absence of shad- 
ows, and the frank disregard of local color where 
it does not suit the artist, all emphasize the fact 
vol. xv. 18 

that nothing beyond decoration is intended. Up 
to this point the artisiis still guided in his choice 
of hues by the wish of making a chromatic com- 
position that shall be beautiful in its soft, sub- 
dued tints, or brilliant and gorgeous with its rich 
display of colors ; hence iuteuse and saturated 
hues are often arranged in such a way as to ap- 
pear by contrast still more brilliant ; gold and 
silver, black and white, add to the effect ; but no 
attempt is made to imitate nature in a realistic 
sense. When, however, we go some steps fur- 
ther, and undertake to reproduce natural objects 
in a serious spirit, the whole matter is entirely 
changed ; when we see groups of flowers accu- 
rately drawn in their natural colors, correct rep- 
resentations of animals or of the human form, 
complete landscapes or views of cities, we can 
be certain that we have left the region of true 
ornamentation and entered another which is 
quite different. A great part of our modern Eu- 
ropean decoration is really painting misapplied. 

" American Chemical Journal." Edited, 
with the Aid of Chemists at Home and 
Abroad, by Ira Remsen, Professor of 
Chemistry in the Johns Hopkins Uni- 
versity. Vol. I., No. 1. Fifty cents per 
number. Baltimore : Innes & Co. 

As we gather from the announcement, 
the first object of this new Journal will be 
to collect the good original papers written 
by American chemists. It will aim to be 
a medium of communication between the 
chemists of this country by recording their 
researches. But at the same time it will 
reprint articles and abstracts of articles 
from other chemical periodicals, and will 
also print reports of progress in recent in- 
vestigations and reviews of chemical publi- 
cations. The first number opens with an 
article contributed by Dr. Wolcott Gibbs, 
on the complex inorganic acids, and closes 
with a report on applied chemistry, by Pro- 
fessor J. W. Mallet. The numbers of the 
Journal will contain from sixty-four to 
eighty pages. Six will form a volume of 
from four to five hundred pages, which will 
probably appear within a year. Subscrip- 
tion, three dollars per volume in advance. 
All success to the new enterprise! 

Journal of the American Chemical So- 
ciety, Vol. I., Nos. 1-3. Committee on 
Papers and Publications: H. Endemann, 
Ph". D., Editor ; Arno Behr, Ph. D. ; 
Gideon H. Moore, Ph. D. New York : 
Lehmaier & Brother, 162 William Street. 

"The American Chemical Society," 
though young, is vigorous, and is going on 
from strength to strength. It has already 



a strong membership, and is doing a good 
deal of valuable work. The Society has 
permanent rooms at No. 11 East Fourteenth 
Street, which are open every evening from 
eight to ten o'clock. The "Journal of 
the American Chemical Society," like the 
"American Chemical Journal," is designed 
not for the outside world, but for those ini- 
tiated into the mysterious technicalities of 
the science. 

Treatise relative to tiie Testing of Wa- 
ter - Wheels and Machinery. With 
Various other Matters pertaining to Hy- 
draulics. By James Emerson. Second 
edition. Springfield, Mass. : Weaver, 
Shipman & Co. Pp. 216. 

This book has an interest for manufac- 
turers using water-power. It seems that 
not long ago the testing of water wheels, 
with a view to determining their efficiency, 
was so difficult and expensive an operation, 
that the proprietors of new patent wheels 
of all kinds were tempted to make gross 
exaggerations of their effectiveness, because 
there were no ready means of getting at the 
actual facts. The author of this work ac- 
cordingly addressed himself to the task of 
finding out some cheaper and more avail- 
able means of making trustworthy mea- 
surements. This volume is chiefly devoted 
to that technical subject, and abounds in 
pictures of water wheels, and formidable ta- 
bles. It also gives much information re- 
garding other forms of mechanism. 

An Outline of General Geology. With 
Copious References designed for the Use 
of both General and Special Students. 
By Theodore B. Comstock, B. Ag., B. S., 
of the Cornell University. Ithaca: Cni- 
versity Press. Pp. 82. 

This is a vade meciim for the use of geo- 
logical students that has grown out of the 
author's syllabus of elementary lectures, to 
a mixed class of students, on economic ge- 
ology and paleontology. It does not profess 
to be a text-book, but a help to study in 
connection with such works as Dana's 
" Manual of Geology " and Le Conte's " Ele- 
ments of Geology." It gives summaries of 
important information and many useful ref- 
erences, blank leaves being freely inserted 
for convenience in making notes. Such a 
volume can not fail to facilitate the student's 
work in various wars. 

Sewer -Gases, their Nature and Origin, 
and how to protect our Dwellings. 
By Adolfo de Varona, A. M., LL. B., 
M. D., etc. Brooklyn : " Eagle " Book 
Printing Department. 1879. Pp. 166. 
Price, 75 cents. 

This little book contains much valuable 
information that every householder in our 
cities and towns should be familiar with. 
Many of the worst diseases are now be- 
lieved to owe their origin to sewer or kin- 
dred emanations which find their way into 
houses, through defective planning and 
workmanship, both of which could be avoid- 
ed if those most interested would take the 
trouble to inform themselves on the subject. 
In the present work the composition of sew- 
er-gas, as determined by various competent 
analysts, is first considered ; the relation 
of these gases to disease is next treated ; 
then comes a description of the conditions 
under which sewer-gases are generated, the 
size, form, and construction of sewers, and 
the manner in which the sewer is connected 
with the house : this completes the first part, 
of the book. The second part is devoted 
to the subject of the protection of dwellings 
against the entrance of sewer-poison. The 
author confines himself to facts and their 
common-sense applications ; and, although 
the information which he gives may prob- 
ably be obtained elsewhere, it is here 
brought together in a brief and convenient 
form, and unencumbered with the trash that 
characterizes so many works on hygienic 
subjects. The style of binding and display 
on the cover are hardly in keeping with the 
contents of the book, but this maybe rem- 
edied in a future edition. 

Reading as a Fine Art. By Ernest 
Legouve, of the Academie Francaise. 
Translated from the Ninth Edition by 
Abby Langdon Alger. Boston : Rob- 
erts Brothers. Pp. 1)7. Price, 60 cents. 

A very suggestive and useful little 
monograph on the subject of reading aloud. 
The writer believes in an art of reading, 
which is capable of being generally ac- 
quired, and he certainly makes out a very 
good case. He pives the rules for reading, 
and deals with the philosophy of declama- 
tion in a very lively and pleasant manner, 
which has been well rendered in an excel- 
lent translation. 



Ocean Wonders: A Companion for the Sea- 
side, freely illustrated from Living Ob- 
jects. By William E. Damon. New York: 
D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 229. Price, $1.50. 

This is an elegant little volume, profusely 
and beautifully illustrated, and abounding in 
descriptions of those curious creatures of the 
sea, most of which can be actually observed 
by the dwellers upon the shore. It is hence 
very properly designated as a companion for 
the seaside. But that which is unique in 
the volume, and gives it its peculiar value, 
is the author's first-hand familiarity with 
his subject, and the large amount of trust- 
worthy, practical information it contains, 
that will be of use to those who wish to 
make collections for themselves. In this 
respect the author's testimony is emphatic 
and decisive. He says : " It is not so easy 
as it appears at the first glance to assure 
success in establishing a private aquarium. 
Whatever value this volume possesses is 
due to the fact that I give no second-hand 
directions, but the results and deductions 
of my own dearly bought personal experi- 
ence, attained at a considerable outlay, not 
only of time and trouble, but also of money, 
in obtaining many rare and scarce speci- 
mens of marine life, and in experiments to 
ascertain the kind of animals which would 
survive captivity. In the latter, I hope my 
directions or hints will materially diminish 
the amount of expenditure for such ama- 
teurs as may peruse this book." 

The volume is admirably written, but of 
this our readers may judge for themselves, 
as some of Mr. Damon's contributions to 
natural history have already appeared in 
" The Popular Science Monthly." 

The Life and Letters of Frances Baroness 
Bunsen. By Augustus J. C. Hare. Two 
volumes in one. New York : Routledge 
& Sons. Pp. 1,002. Price, $5. 

Frances Waddington was the daughter 
of an English baronet, who lived in Wales. 
When she was at the age of eighteen, the 
family visited Rome, and she there met, 
captivated, and married young Charles Bun- 
Ben, a German, and afterward distinguished 
as a diplomatist and historian. They lived 
some twenty years in Rome, during which 
Bunsen represented the Prussian Govern- 
ment in an official capacity ; and he was 
then sent to London to represent Prussia 

at the Court of St. James. He retained this 
position, residing in London, about a dozen 
years, when the family returned to Ger- 
many. The Baroness was a woman of re- 
markable character, who had a long career 
in the most favored circles of English and 
Continental society. She left the record of 
her observations and experience in a great 
number of letters, which her biographer, 
Mr. Hare, has made free use of in editing 
the work. She had a large family, to which 
she was greatly devoted, and the history of 
her life is an eminently wholesome and in- 
structive piece of biographical work. 

The American Plant-Book, for the Conve- 
nient Preservation and Analysis of Press- 
ed Flowers, Ferns, Leaves, and Grasses. 
By Harlan H. Ballard and Proctor 
Thayer. Slote & Co., 1879. 

This book, which is neatly bound, pro- 
vides for the fastening of about one hun- 
dred flowers upon its pages. Opposite the 
page which holds the plant there is printed 
a guide to the careful description of it, with 
blanks for the insertion of all particulars, 
and also for its classification. The fron- 
tispiece is an accurate engraving of poison 
ivy and poison sumach, the only plants in 
the northern United States which are se- 
riously poisonous to the hand. Being bril- 
liant and attractive, it is important that the 
collector should be warned beforehand, that 
he may avoid the danger. The book has 
also an introduction, with directions how to 
gather and press flowers. It is certainly a 
more desirable arrangement for its purpose 
than the home-made herbariums in com- 
mon use. 

Lecture Notes on Chemical Physiolo- 
gy and Pathology. By Victor C. 
Vaughan, M. D., Ph. D., of the Uni- 
versity of Michigan. Second edition, 
revised and enlarged. Ann Arbor Pub- 
lishing Company. Pp. 315. 
The prompt sale of the first edition of 
these notes has led the author to enlarge it. 
Its character is expressed in its title, and it 
claims to be, not a complete treatise, but 
merely a practical guide to the working stu- 
dent. This book seems to be executed with 
care and judgment, and medical students 
especially who desire a thorough prepara- 
tion in the physiological applications of 
modern chemistry will find it valuable. 



The Color-Sense: Its Origin and Devel- 
opment. An Essay on Comparative Psy- 
chology. By Grant Allen, B. A. Bos- 
ton : Houghton, Osgood & Co. Pp. 282. 
Price, $3.50. 

This is an interesting volume, on a topic 
that has come lately into prominence as one 
of the consequences of the theory of evolu- 
tion. All pictorial art is of course based 
upon the color-sense in man, and it is an 
inquiry that can not fail to affect the theory 
of art whether this color-sense is an unde- 
rived and always perfected faculty, or has 
grown through gradual stages to its present 
condition. That there has been a progress 
of taste capacity and art, founded upon the 
color-sense, is of course well known, but 
has the foundation itself been also devel- 
oped? If it be admitted that it has, then 
there arises a new interest in the subject of 
color-sense as it exists among the inferior 
grades of animals. If color-sense and the 
color-perception are not to be taken as 
things unchangeable if belonging to life 
they are a part of life, and are subject to 
the laws of life then the question of the 
genesis of the color-faculty is legitimate, 
and it is proper to inquire what may have 
been the conditions of its origin. Profes- 
sor Allen has entered upon this engaging 
study not merely with the enthusiasm in- 
spired by its novelty and freshness, but in 
the genuine philosophic spirit, and well 
equipped with the scientific data for the 
investigation. The author's problem is, by 
what agencies, and under what reactions 
and conditions, the color-sense has origi- 
nated in the grades of animal life. He finds 
it to be a faculty continuous throughout, 
but gradually unfolded and perfected, and 
he concludes that "the highest aesthetic 
products of humanity form only the last link 
in a chain whose first link began with the in- 
sect's selection of bright-hued blossoms." 

Professor Allen combats the notion of 
Dr. Magnus, endorsed and popularized by 
Mr. Gladstone, that the color-perception of 
civilized man is a faculty of quite recent de- 
velopment, and that so lately as some three 
thousand years ago mankind was utterly 
incapable of distinguishing between violet, 
green, blue, and yellow. Rejecting this crude 
and ill-digested theory, the author remarks: 
"The few centuries which have rolled past 
during that interval form but a single pulse 

of the pendulum whose seconds make up 
the epochs of geological evolution. To me 
it appears rather that the color-sense of 
man is derived through his mammalian an- 
cestry from a long line of anterior genera- 
tions, and that its origin must be sought 
for in ages before a solitary quadrumanous 
animal had appeared upon the face of the 
earth." This book is an outgrowth of those 
studies which led the author to prepare his 
little volume on " Physiological ^Esthetics" ; 
but while that work was based upon human 
psychology, the last one relates rather to 
comparative psychology, or to the phenom- 
ena of mind throughout the whole animal 

Relation of Physical Exercise to Con- 
sumption, 16 pages ; and Foul-Air-Con- 
sumption, 13 pages. By R. B. Davy, 
M. D. Reprinted from the " Cincinnati 
Lancet and Observer." 

In the first of these pamphlets the au- 
thor discusses the influence of muscular ex- 
ercise on the more important organs of the 
body, and on the system in general, as af- 
fecting predispositions to pulmonary com- 
plaints, and as a means for the relief of 
such complaints when they have once ob- 
tained a foothold in the organism. Whether 
employed as a preventive or a remedy, he 
regards properly regulated exercise as an 
agent of the highest value ; and among the 
several varieties described considers rowing 
as probably the best, and the health-lift as 
perhaps the worst, that can be adopted. 

The second pamphlet is devoted to the 
subject of foul air as a cause of consump- 
tion, and explains how man by his habits of 
life and the conditions with which he sur- 
rounds himself becomes the source as well 

as the victim of the poison. 

F. H. 

The Native Flowers and Ferns of the 
United States. By Thomas Meehan. 
Illustrated by Chromolithographs. Num- 
bers from 12 to 24. Boston: L. Prang 
& Co. 50 cts. per No. 

Volume II. of this elegant work is now 
complete, containing forty-eight neatly exe- 
cuted chromolithographs of our most inter- 
esting plants and flowers. The character of 
the work, text and illustrations alike, has 
been not only sustained but improved. 



Coal, its History and Uses. By Profes- 
sors Green, Miall, Thorpe, Rucker, 
and Marshall, of the Yorkshire Col- 
lege. Edited by Professor Thorpe. 

. New York : Macmillan & Co. Pp. 362. 
Price, $4. 

This is a thoroughly popular book, but 
at the same time a fresh and instructive 
one. It originated in a course of lectures 
that were prepared for delivery in different 
places, by several professional gentlemen, 
each taking the topic with which he was 
most familiar. The volume has therefore 
something about it of authority and com- 
pleteness, which give it merit. The sub- 
jects treated are " The Geology of Coal," 
"Coal Plants," " Animals of the Coal Mea- 
sures," " The Chemistry of Coal," " Coal as 
a Source of Warmth," " Coal as a Source 
of Power," and " The Coal Question" (that 
is, the English question of the supply of 
coal), and the rates of its production and 
consumption. The volume is moderately 
illustrated, and is got up in good style. 

Elements of Comparative Anatomy. By 
Carl Gegenbaur, Professor of Anatomy 
and Director of the Anatomical Institute 
at Heidelberg. New York : Macmillan 
& Co. Pp. 645. Price, $7. 

We congratulate the publishers, Mac- 
millan & Co., for their enterprise in bring- 
ing this sterling and standard Continental 
work to the service of English and Ameri- 
can students. It has been demanded for a 
good while, and various publishers in London 
and New York have at divers times talked 
of cooperating with each other to reproduce 
it, but were all at last afraid of the venture. 
Mr. Macmillan has undertaken it alone, and 
we have no doubt that he will find " money 
in it. At all events, it is now the book upon 
the subject of comparative anatomy, for the 
relations of animal structures, that must be 
consulted by all students. Biological sci- 
ence has recently changed its course, by 
which the older treatises have become anti- 
quated, and to meet the new requirements 
there must be new text-books. Lyell, when 
an old man, revolutionized his geology to 
bring it into harmony with advancing knowl- 
edge, and Gegenbaur has done the same 
thing with his great work on zoology. Dr. 
Lancaster, the editor, thus refers to this pe- 
culiarity of Gegenbauer's treatise : " We do 
not possess any modern work on compara- 

tive anatomy, properly so called ; that is to 
say, a work in which the comparative meth- 
od is put prominently forward as the guiding 
principle in the treatment of the results of 
anatomical investigation. The present work, 
therefore, appears to me to form a most 
important supplement to our existing trea- 
tises on the structure and classification of 
animals. It has, over and above this, a dis- 
tinctive and weighty recommendation in that, 
throughout and without reserve, the doc- 
trine of evolution appears as the living, mov- 
ing investment of the dry bones of anatomi- 
cal fact. Not only is the student thus taught 
to retain and accumulate his facts in rela- 
tion to definite problems which are actually 
exercising the ingenuity of investigators, 
but he is encouraged and to a certain extent 
trained in the healthy use of his speculative 
faculties ; in fact, the one great method by 
which new knowledge is attained, whether 
of little things or of big things the method 
of observation (or experiment), directed by 
speculation becomes the conscious and dis- 
tinctive characteristic of his mental activity. 
Thus we may claim for the study of com- 
parative anatomy, as set forth in the pres- 
ent work, the power of developing what is 
called ' common sense ' into the more pre- 
cisely fixed 'scientific habit' of mind." 

Lectures on Materia Medica. By Car- 
roll Dunham, M. D. 2 vols. New York: 
Francis Hart & Co., 63 Murray Street. 
Pp. 828. 

This is an elaborate text-book on the 
action of medical remedies, according to 
the theory of Hahnemann, and it is a trea- 
tise that will undoubtedly have weight with 
the professional school which it represents. 
Its author was Professor of Materia Medica 
in the New York Homoeopathic Medical Col- 
lege, and author of "Homoeopathy theScience 
of Therapeutics," and he is evidently recog- 
nized as a safe authority in this important 
branch of homoeopathic medicine. The vol- 
umes are made up from his notes, observa- 
tions, and memoranda, based upon close 
study and the experience of a wide practice. 
Dr. Dunham seems to have been an accom- 
plished physician, loving his work and apt 
for it, and much liked by all who knew him. 
Of the merits of the medical system to which 
he adhered, our readers no doubt have their 
own opinions this way and that, with which 



we have not the slightest inclination to med- 
dle ; but the volumes before us give evi- 
dence that their author was a learned, criti- 
cal, and painstaking student in his chosen 
branch of professional inquiry. 

Fasting Girls : Their Physiology and 
Pathology. Bv William A. Hammond, 
M. D. New York : G. P. Putnam's 
Sons. Pp. 74. Price, 75 cents. 

Dr. Hammond has done excellent service 
in contributing this little monograph to ex- 
pose a class of the grossest frauds that grow 
rank in the soil of popular ignorance. He 
has not a very high opinion of our boasted 
enlightenment, as we gather from the fol- 
lowing observations : " It seems that no 
proposition that can be made is so absurd 
or impossible but that many people, ordi- 
narily regarded as intelligent, will be found 
to accept it and to aid in its propagation. 
And hence, when it is asserted that a young 
lady has lived for fourteen years without 
food of any kind, hundreds and thousands of 
persons throughout the length and breadth 
of a civilized land at once yield their belief 
to the monstrous declaration." Dr. Ham- 
mond gives accounts of several cases of al- 
leged fasting girls and ingenious deceptions, 
the collusions and credulities of surround- 
ing parties, and the manner of ultimate 
exposure. The final chapter, on the physi- 
ology and pathology of inanition, is very in- 

Principles of Political Economy. By 
William Eoscher, Professor of Politi- 
cal Economy at the University of Leip- 
sic, Corresponding Member of the In- 
stitute of France, Privy Councilor to his 
Majesty the King of Saxony. From the 
thirteenth (1877) German edition, with 
additional chapters furnished by the au- 
thor, for this first English and Ameri- 
can edition, on Paper Money, Interna- 
tional Trade, and the Protective Sys- 
tem ; and a Preliminary Essay on the 
Historical Method in Political Economy 
(from the French), by L. Wolowski. 
The whole translated by John J. Lalor, 
A. M. 2 vols. New York : Henry Holt 
& Co. Pp. 929. Price, $7. 

The students of economic literature owe 
hearty thanks to Mr. Lalor for rendering 
into English the learned work of Professor 
Roscher on political economy. It is a book 
of inexhaustible erudition, such as a plod- 

ding and untiring German Professor alone 
could produce. Tt abounds in curious in- 
formation on a wide range of collateral top- 
ics, and runs freely into social philosophy 
as well as into strict economics. The note's 
are copious, varied, and invaluable. 

Index Medicus. Monthly Classified Rec- 
ord of the Current Medical Litera- 
ture of the World. Edited by Dr. 
J. S. Billings, Surgeon U. S. Army, 
and Dr. R. Fletcher, M. R. C. S., Eng. 
Monthly. New York : Leypoldt. $3 per 

The " Index Medicus " is a publication 
which can hardly fail to be heartily wel- 
comed by the medical profession. It re- 
cords the titles of all new books on medi- 
cine, surgery, and the collateral branches. 
These are classed under subject-headings, 
and are followed by the titles of valuable 
original articles in the medical journals, and 
the transactions of medical societies. The 
periodicals thus indexed comprise pretty 
nearly all the current medical journals and 
transactions of value. At the close of each 
yearly volume a double index of authors 
and subjects will be added, forming a com- 
plete bibliography of medicine during the 
preceding year. The " Index Medicus " 
contains about fifty pages of large quarto 
size, clearly printed on good paper. The 
valuable character of the work and its re- 
markably low price must commend it to the 
patronage of physicians. 

The Teacher. Hints on School Manage- 
ment. By J. R. Blakiston, M. A., one 
of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools. 
New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 91. 
Price, $1. 

We take it that this will prove a very 
helpful little work, on general schoolroom 
tactics, to that small circle of teachers who 
feel that they have any need of it, it being 
the business of teachers to know and their 
standing, and salary, and influence in school 
and out of it depending upon their reputa- 
tion for knowing, they can not generally 
afford to let it be suspected that they do 
not understand all about it whatever it is. 
This book, by an old English school inspect- 
or, who says that his views " are the result 
of a personal experience of twenty-five years 
spent in educational work by one who feels 


2 79 

more every year how much he has yet to 
learn," proceeds upon the opposite principle. 
Indeed, the author goes so far as to say 
that when teachers are ignorant they should 
not have any false pride or pretension about 
it, but should honestly and openly admit 
their ignorance. His language is, " When 
children ask their teacher for information 
on subjects with which he has little or no 
acquaintance, he should not be ashamed of 
fraukly owning his ignorance." This is sen- 
sible talk, and those who like it will find 
much more of the same sort in the volume, 
which will furnish many hints worth the at- 
tention of practical teachers. 

Mixed Essays. By Matthew Arnold. New 
York : Macmillan & Co. Pp. 347. 
Price, $2. 

The name of this author is so well and 
favorably known as to make any commen- 
dation of his work on our part superfluous. 
He deals with modern questions in the spirit 
of liberal, often of radical criticism, and his 
opening discussions on " Democracy " and 
on " Equality," from the point of view of an 
independent English thinker, will have inter- 
est for intelligeut American readers. The 
London "Athenaeum" remarks of the vol- 
ume : " One feels that these essays are Mr. 
Arnold, and that the lesson they convey as 
a whole is more precious than any single 
principle expressed throughout them. It 
is the lesson of courtesy, gentleness, and 
toleration. The stern practical nature of 
life in the nineteenth century and the con- 
troversial fierceness which is at once the 
strength and the misfortune of Englishmen 
could have no better foil than this high- 
souled preacher, who has continually re- 
minded us, by his own example, of the su- 
preme value of noble conduct and high de- 


Notes of a Naturalist on the Challenger. 
By H. N. Moseley. London and New York : 
Macmillan. 1879. Pp. 36. $7.50. 

The Wyandotte Cave. By J. P. Stelle. Cin- 
cinnati : Moore, Wilstach & Baldwin. 1864. 
Pp. 85. 

Etymological Dictionary of the English Lan- 
guage. By W. W. Skeat. Oxford : Clarendon 
Press. Parti., A Dor. 1879. Pp.176. 10*. 6d. 

The Coal Trade. By F. E. Saward. New 
York : The Author. 1879. Pp. 73. 

Practical Treatise on the Combustion of Coal. 
By W. M. Barr. With Plates. Indianapolis: 
Yohn Brothers. 1879. Pp. 315. $2.50. 

Dictionary of Music and Musicians. London 
and New York: Macmillan. Part VI. 1879. 
Pp. 127. 

The Art of Singing. By F. Sieber. New 
York : W. A. Pond & Co. Pp. 175. 1879. 

L'Assommoir. By E. Zola. Phiiadolphia : 
Petersons. 1879. Pp. 380. 75 cents. 

Progressive Japan. By General Le Gendre. 
San Francisco: A. L. Bancroft & Co. 1879. Pn. 

" Baptist Review." Quarterly. Cincinnati : J. 
R. Baumes. Vol. I. No. I. Pp. 172. 

The Art of Figure-Drawing. By C. H. Wei- 
gall. New York: Putnam's Sons. 1879. Pp. 53. 
50 cents. 

Trial of D. M. Bennett. New York : " The 
Truth-Seeker." ISitf. Pp.189. 

Haeckel's " Genesis of Man" : a Review. By 
L. F. Ward. Philadelphia : E. Stern & Co. Pp. 64. 

Supplementary Report on Sewer Air. By W. 
R. Nichols. 

Sound Money. By D. A. Hawkins. Pp. 4. 

Mothers' Marks. By Dr. Pv. Park. Pp. 13. 

TJeber das von gliiheudem Platin ausgestrahlte 
Licht. Von Edward L. Nichols, Ph. D. Gottin- 
gen- Die Umversilats-Buchdruckerei von E. A. 
Huth. 1S79. Pp. 58, with rlaies. 

On the Complete Series of Superficial Geolog- 
ical Formations in Northeastern Iowa. By W. 
J. McGee. From " Proceedings of the American 
Association for the Advancement of Science." 
Pp. 36. 

Wall Rocks of the Bodie Auriferous Lodes. 
By M. Attwood. From " Proceedings of the 
California Geological Society." Pp. 3. 

On an Improved Form of Gold- washer's Pros- 
pecting Bowl. From the " Alta California." By 
the same Author. Pp. 16. 

Proposed Legislation on the Adulteration of 
Food and Medicine. By E. R. Squibb, M. D. 
New York : Putnam's Sons. 1879. Pp. 57. 25 

All about the Plum Curculio. By J. B. Stelle. 
Mobile: "Register "print. 1878. Pp.14. 

Double Stars. By S. W. Burnham. From 
" American Journal of Science and Arts. Pp. 7. 

Bigamy and Polygamy. Pp. 33. 

The School Garden. Bv E. Schwab. New 
York: Holbrook & Co. 1879. Pp.92. 50 cents. 

Word and Work. Fy P. G. Robert. St. 
Louis : W. B. Chittenden. 1879. Pp. 29. 

Evolution and Human Anatomy. By S. E. 
Cbaille. New York : Trow print. 1879. Pp. 21. 

Heroes, Honors, and Horrors. Yellow Fever 
of 1878. By J. P. Dromsroole. M. D. Louisville, 
Ky. : Morton print. 1879. Pp. 176. 50 cents. 

Catalogue of Plants in the Vicinity of Cincin- 
nati. By J.F.James. Cincinnati : Barclay print. 
Pp. 27. 

Mineral Locality in Fairfield County, Connect- 
icut. By G. J. Brush and E. S. Dana. ^From 
" American Journal of Science and Arts. Pp. 

House of Representatives. Report of Na- 
tional Academy of Sciences. Pp. 25. 

Method of Study in Social Science. By W. 
T. Harris. St. Louis : Jones print. Pp. 23. 




The National Academy of Sciences. 

Professor 0. C. Marsh, who, after the death 
of Professor Joseph Henry, became acting 
President of the National Academy of Sci- 
ences, in his address at the annual meet- 
ing of that body, held in Washington, 
April 15th, presented a detailed statement 
of the action of the Academy with regard 
to the reorganization of the survey of the 
Territories. He also submitted a report of 
the progress which has been made in put- 
ting into execution Professor Newcornb's 
plan for determining the distance of the 
sun by measuring the velocity of light. 
Professor Marsh justly congratulates the 
Academy upon the unanimity with which 
the members adopted the scheme for reor- 
ganizing the surveys, and on its embodi- 
ment without change in a law of Congress. 
The Academy, in all its deliberations upon 
this important matter, was strictly unpar- 
tisan, and acted without respect of per- 
sons. Whether the scheme which now 
goes into execution will lead to better re- 
sults than the old plan of many indepen- 
dent surveys, Professor Marsh leaves to 
the historian to decide. For the purpose 
of carrying out Professor Newcomb's plan 
of determining the sun's distance, the sum 
of five thousand dollars has been appro- 
priated by Congress ; and the work of con- 
structing the necessary apparatus will be 
commenced as soon as the appropriation is 
available. It is hoped by those who pro- 
posed this plan that the experiments will 
lead to a more accurate determination of 
the distance of the sun than can be reached 
by any other method known to astrono- 

The Growth of a Continent. The history 
of the growth of the European Continent, as 
recounted by Professor Geikie, gives an in- 
structive illustration of the relations of geol- 
ogy to geography. The earliest European 
land, he says, appears to have existed in 
the north and northwest, comprising Scan- 
dinavia, Finland, and the northwest of the 
British area, and to have extended thence 
through boreal and arctic latitudes into 
North America. Of the height and mass of 
this primeval land some idea maybe formed 

by considering the enormous bulk of the 
material derived from its disintegration. In 
the Silurian formations of the British Islands 
alone there is a mass of rock, worn from the 
land, which would form a mountain chain 
extending from Marseilles to the North Cape 
(1,800 miles), with a mean breadth of over 
thirty-three miles and an average height of 
16,000 feet. The Silurian sea which spread 
across most of central Europe into Asia 
suffered great disturbance in some regions 
toward the close of the Silurian period. It 
was ridged up into land inclosing vast in- 
land basins, the areas of some of which are 
still traceable across the British Islands to 
Scandinavia and the west of Russia. An 
interesting series of geographical changes 
can be traced, during which the lakes of 
the Old Red Sandstone were effaced, the sea 
that gradually overspread most of Europe 
was finally silted up, and the lagoons and 
marshes came to be densely crowded with 
the vegetation to which we owe our coal- 
seams. Later terrestrial movements led to 
the formation of a series of bitter lakes 
across the heart of Europe, like those now 
existing in the southeast of Russia. Suc- 
cessive depressions and elevations brought 
the open sea again and again across the 
continent, and gave rise to the accumulation 
of the rocks of which most of the present 
surface consists. In these movements the 
growth of the Alps and other dominant 
lines of elevation can be more or less dis- 
tinctly traced. It was at the close of the 
Eocene period, however, that the great dis- 
turbances took place to which the European 
mountains chiefly owe their present dimen- 
sions. In the Alps we see how these move- 
ments led to the crumpling up and inversion 
of vast piles of solid rock, not older in geo- 
logical position than the soft clay which 
underlies London. Considerable additional 
upheaval in Miocene times affected the Al- 
pine ridges, while, in still later ages, the Ital- 
ian Peninsula was broadened by the uprise 
of its sub-Apennine ranges. The proofs of 
successive periods of volcanic activity dur- 
ing this long series of geographical revolu- 
tions are many and varied. So, too, is the 
evidence for the appearance and disappear- 
ance of successive floras and faunas, each 
no doubt seeming at the time of its exist- 
ence to possess the same aspect of antiquity 
and prospect of endurance which we natu- 



rally associate with those of our own time. 
The law of progress has been dominant 
among plants and animals, and not less 
upon the surface of the planet which they 
inhabit. It is the province of the biologist 
to trace the one series of changes, of the 
geologist to investigate the other. The 
geographer gathers from both the data 
which enable him to connect the present 
aspects of nature with those out of which 
they have arisen. 

Storms and Neuralgia. At vhe April 
meeting of the National Academy of Sci- 
ences, Dr. S. Weir Mitchell read a paper on 
" The Relation of Neuralgic Pain to Storms 
and the Earth's Magnetism." The interest- 
ing observations here recorded were made 
by Dr. Mitchell in conjunction with Captain 
Catlin, of the United States Army, who lost 
a leg during the war, and who, since that 
time, has suffered from traumatic neuralgia, 
sometimes in the heel, but more frequently 
in the toes, of the lost foot. The hourly 
observations cover a period of five years. 
For the first quarters of these five years 
there were 2,471 hours of pain ; for the sec- 
ond quarters, 2,102 hours; for the third 
quarters, 2,056 hours; and for the last quar- 
ters, 2,221 hours. The greatest number of 
hours of pain is in January, February, and 
March ; and the least in the third quarters, 
July, August, and September. During these 
five years, while the sun was south of the 
equator, there were 4,692 hours of pain, 
against 4,158 hours while it was north of 
the equator; and the greatest amount of 
pain was in the quarters beginning with the 
winter solstice, and the least was in those 
beginning with the summer solstice. The 
avei'age duration of the attacks for the first 
quarters was 22 hours, and for the third 
quarters only 17'9 hours. By taking the 
four years ending January 1, 18*79, it is 
found that, of the 537 storms charted by 
the Signal Bureau, 298 belong to the two 
winter quarters, against 2S9 for the summer 
quarters. Hence we have the ratio of the 
number of storms of the winter quarters 
and summer quarters corresponding to the 
ratio of the amounts of neuralgia for these 
respective periods, and the ratio of average 
duration of each attack for the same time 
corresponds closely with the ratio of the 

respective total amounts of neuralgia for 
the same periods. The average distance of 
the storm-center at the beginning of the 
neuralgia attacks was 680 miles. Storms 
coming from the Pacific coast are felt far- 
thest off, while storms along the Atlantic coast 
are associated with milder forms of neural- 
gia, and are not felt until the storm-center 
is nearer. Rain is not essential in the pro- 
duction of neuralgia. It was found that the 
severest neuralgic attacks of the year were 
those accompanying the first snows of No- 
vember and December. Every storm, as it 
sweeps across the continent, consists of a 
vast rain area, at the center of which is a 
moving space of greatest barometric de- 
pression, known as the storm-center, along 
which the storm moves like a bead on a 
thread. The rain usually precedes this by 
550 to 600 miles ; but before and around 
the rain lies a belt which may be called the 
neuralgic margin of the storm, and which 
precedes the rain about 150 miles. This 
fact is very deceptive, because the sufferer 
may be on the far edge of the storm-basin 
of barometric depression, and see nothing 
of the rain, yet have paiu due to the storm. 

Physiological Action of Aconite. From 

certain experimental inquiries into the phys- 
iological action of aconite and its alkaloid, 
aconitia. Dr. G. H. Mackenzie concludes that 
these drugs act primarily on the respiration 
by their influence on the respiratory center 
and peripheral sensory branches of the va- 
gus nerve. They have no direct action on 
the heart, and only affect that organ sec- 
ondarily through the medium of the lungs. 
Their action on the nervous system consists 
in firstly irritating and secondly paralyzing 
the peripheral sensory nerves and posterior 
roots of the spinal nerves. They have no 
direct action on the brain or the vaso-motor 
nerves. They increase the irritability of the 
peripheral motor nerves, and of the motor 
columns of the cord. They do not induce 
muscular paralysis, but, on the contrary, in- 
crease the irritability of voluntary muscle. 
They induce convulsions mainly through 
their augmenting the irritability of the an- 
terior column of the cord, the motor nerves, 
and muscles. They firstly increase and sec- 
ondly diminish temperature. Death ensues 
from asphyxia and respiratory collapse. 



Curiosities of Nervousness. An inter- 
esting book might be made out of the curi- 
osities of nervousness from a contempo- 
rary standpoint. The elder Disraeli has 
somewhere a chapter on the subject ; but, 
if our memory serves us correctly, his in- 
stances trench rather upon the hysterical 
conditions, the monomanias, the wild fan- 
ciful delusions of the disordered imagina- 
tion, than upon the prosaic features of the 
distemper. He instances men who could 
not bear the sight of old women, and faint- 
ed dead away if a grandmother showed her- 
self; others who, if they heard a rat in the 
wall, took it for a ghost and got up and 
prayed fervently; and such things. The 
present age furnishes more rational imagin- 
ings, born of the daily papers, emphasized 
by indigestion, and riveted by the surprising 
eloquence of the diurnal quidnuncs. For 
instance, there are plenty of people living at 
this moment who would warmly refuse to 
get into bed before looking under it to make 
sure that no man lay there. There are 
others who pass the night in constant fear 
of tire ; who, before they withdraw to their 
bedchambers, carefully rake out every fire- 
place in the house, turn off the gas, inspect 
every room, knock on the servants' doors 
and inquire through the key-holes if their 
candles are out ; and after all this bother 
go to bed and lie awake until the dawn with 
their bedroom doors ajar, sniffing at imagi- 
nary fumes of burning, and ready to spring 
out and go raving mad should anything like 
a cry be raised for these people never 
make any serious provision against fire 
should fire come. There are others, again, 
who will lie night after night in expectation 
of burglars. A distant footfall will court 
them to the window, where, cautiously pull- 
ing aside the blind by the breadth of a nose 
(giving scope to one eye), they will peer in- 
to the gloom and mistake some shadow for 
the figure of a man (wrapped in an overcoat 
and with a horse-pistol in every pocket), 
intent upon the particular window whence 
he is being w r atched. Others will be kept 
awake by the song of the wind about the 
casement, or in the empty rooms around, 
confounding these natural sounds with the 
murmur of human voices in the pantry, or 
on the landing just outside. 

These are some of the hundred night 

fears beyond an ordinary imagination to ex- 
press. But there are daylight fears as nu- 
merous, if not always so agonizing. What 
words can convey the horror felt by a cer- 
tain kind of nervous people who, making a 
journey on a railway, are suddenly brought 
to a stand in a tunnel ? Nothing can com- 
fort them. Their heads shoot through the 
windows, their cries lacerate the gloom, and 
the reassuring shouts of the guard only ag- 
gravate their fright and provoke fresh yells 
for immediate release. Or take the mental 
condition of another kind of nervous per- 
sons at sea. Every roll of the vessel means 
imminent death. The carrying away of a 
water-cask, the momentary stoppage of the 
engines, the cry of a man on the lookout, 
the escape of a sail from the gaskets that 
confine it to the yard, and its consequent 
bellowing upon the gale, the abrupt shipping 
of a sea, nay, the tumbling of a steward 
down a ladder, or the fall and smash of a 
few plates from the leaning saloon table, 
will strike an indescribable horror, and lead 
to no end of convulsive clingings and mum- 
blings of prayer. Indeed, it would be pos- 
sible to fill every page in this journal with a 
catalogue of the imaginative afflictions under 
which nervous people labor. Old Doctor 
Johnson, going back to touch an omitted 
post, typifies a host of numerous disorders 
which need not be mistaken for supersti- 
tions, and which assume a vast number of 
shapes among us in these days. Take a 
pavement full of people with a ladder across 
it from the house-top to the curbstone. 
How many of the passengers will wade into 
the mud of the road to save themselves 
from passing under that ladder ? The pro- 
portion of the nervous people in the world 
will be happily indicated by such an exam- 
ple. Of every hundred persons, we question 
if ten would, without hesitation, pass under 
that ladder. When a man refuses to make 
his will, because he fears that by doing so 
he will be hastening his death, are we not to 
attribute his cowardice to the nerves ? It is 
a mere convenient apology to call such mis- 
givings superstitions. No one would hope 
to cure a priest's faith in a winking Ma- 
donna by a course of quinine ; and supersti- 
tions of the real sort are assuredly not to be 
corrected by medical treatment. But our 
latter-day nerves are to be dealt with, and 



a good many uncomfortable horrors taken 
out of our minds, by the judicious doctor. 
" Mayfair." 

A Botanical rsurper. One of the most 
curious instances on record of the invasion 
of a country by a plant of foreign origin, 
and the extermination by it of indigenous 
species, is seen in the history of the mango- 
tree in the island of Jamaica, as recounted 
by Sir Joseph Hooker. It reminds us of 
the accounts of captured tribes which after 
being carried into their conquerors' country 
have so increased and multiplied as eventu- 
ally to dispossess and supplant their captors. 
In 1782 Admiral Rodney captured a French 
ship bound for San Domingo from Bourbon, 
with living plants of the cinnamon, jack- 
fruit, and mango, sent to the Botanic Garden 
of the former island by that of the latter. 
The prizes were presented by the Admiral 
to the Jamaica Botanic Garden. There the 
cinnamon was carefully fostered, but proved 
to be difficult of culture in the island ; 
while the mango, which was neglected, be- 
came in eleven years as common as the 
orange, spreading over lowlands and moun- 
tains from the sea-level to 5,000 feet above 
it. On the abolition of slavery immense 
tracts of land, especially coffee plantations, 
relapsed to a state of nature, and, the mango 
being a favorite fruit with the blacks, its 
stones were flung about everywhere, giving 
rise to groves along the roadsides and 
around the settlements ; and the fruit of 
these again, rolling down hill, gave rise to 
forests in the valleys. The effect of this 
spread of the mango, Sir Joseph Hooker 
adds, has been to cover hundreds of thou- 
sands of acres, and to ameliorate the cli- 
mate of what were dry and barren districts 
by producing moisture and shade, and by 
retaining the rainfalls that had previously 
evaporated ; all this, besides affording food 
for several months of the year to both ne- 
groes and horses. 

Explorations in Central Afrka. Two 

French travelers, M. Savargnan de Brazza 
and Dr. Ballay, have returned to Paris after 
a three years' exploration of the Ogowe (or 
Ogobai) River. In August, 18*75, the travel- 
ers left Lambarene, the extreme limit of the 
European factories, and, escorted by twelve 
Laptots, or native African soldiers of the 

French colony of Senegal, explored the river 
to its sources. One result of the expedition 
is to prove that the Ogowe does not rise in 
an interior lake. The river may be divided 
into three nearly equal parts the upper, 
the middle, and the lower. The middle 
follows an almost straight east and west 
course just south of the equator ; the two 
others incline about a degree and a half 
toward the south. The first halt was made 
at Lope, a large village on the upper Ogowe. 
M. de Brazza penetrated into the country of 
those noble cannibals, the Fans, with whom 
he entered into friendly relations, and suc- 
ceeded in reaching Dume, a position con- 
siderably advanced on the upper river. He 
suffered seriously in this journey, and on his 
return had to let his companions advance 
to Dume without him ; he was only able to 
rejoin them in April, 1877. Through great 
hardships and dangers they made their way 
to the Pubara Fall, above which the Ogowe 
becomes an inconsiderable stream. 

After a few days' rest here, the explorers 
left the basin of the Ogowe in March, 1878, 
to penetrate still farther into the interior. 
They traversed successively the territories 
of the Ondumbo, the Umbete, and the Ba- 
teke, suffering greatly on the way from both 
hunger and thirst, for the country was de- 
vastated by famine. A stream running east, 
the N'Gambo, led the explorers to an impor- 
tant river, the Alima, 500 feet wide and six- 
teen feet deep, apparently an affluent of the 
Congo. In attempting to descend the Alima 
they had to run the gantlet between banks 
lined with hostile savages. They quitted 
the river and marched northward, crossing 
many watercourses flowing eastward. They 
suffered so much from hunger that the ex- 
pedition had to be divided, Dr. Ballay and 
one of the attendants being sent back to 
the Ogowe. M. de Brazza went some dis- 
tance farther northward, when hunger and 
suffering compelled him also to retreat, and 
he rejoined his comrade in September. On 
November 30tb the whole party reached the 
French settlement at the Gaboon. 

From Corisco Bay, on the west coast of 
Africa, and a little north of the mouth of 
the Gaboon, comes intelligence of certain 
important explorations made by Hugo de 
Koppenfels, who reports that he ascended 
the Muni, the Noya, the Balinji, and the 



Tambuni to the first falls. In the Crystal 
Mountains he fell in with tribes absolutely 
unknown up to the present, or who at least 
had not been seen by whites with rare ex- 
ceptions the Etemo, the Manga, the Otonto, 
and the Toko. These people are described 
as very inoffensive ; they regarded their 
white visitor as a curious animal, and had 
a certain fear of him. When he asked them 
to accompany him into the interior they 
agreed readily. They are frightfully poor, 
being obliged to give up planting on account 
of the ravages of elephants and gorillas, 
which are very numerous and daring. Not 
a single night passed, the traveler states, 
that he did not hear those animals ravaging 
around the villages, which are mostly very 
large. As soon as the animals are known 
to be near, the whole village is on foot en- 
deavoring to frighten them away by shout- 
ing. In these nocturnal expeditions, in 
which the explorer took part, he noticed 
that the head man of the village addressed 
a speech to the elephants, and that in this 
speech his own name was pronounced. He 
was told that the elephants were threatened 
to be handed over to him, and that, if they 
did not fly at once, they would be visited 
on the morrow, and the white man would 
kill them. If the elephant seizes a plant 
with its trunk, the people immediately raise 
a dreadful, plaintive howling, and the prin- 
cipal orator addresses, in a lamentable voice, 
supplications to the enormous brute. 


The Animal " Outing." That the change 
of scene and air secured by an annual " out- 
ing " is beneficial to health can not be doubt- 
ed. The relief afforded counts for much, 
the opening up of new sources of energy 
counts for more, in the sum of advantages 
gained. Meanwhile, not only will the profit 
be small, but the result questionable, unless 
the relief and the sense of freshness are 
shared by mind and body alike. In a word, 
perfect absence of worry is essential to the 
full enjoyment and restorative action of the 
holiday. This is just what the majority of 
persons, particularly the heads of families, 
forget, for themselves and those around 
them. A jaded mind needs rest quite as 
much as a weary body, and neither the one 
nor the other can obtain the sort of rest 
which is essential to a complete renewal of 

strength without the awakening of new in- 
terests. The simple cessation of work may 
in some few instances give relief, but much 
more than this is necessary for the recovery 
of health and renewal of energy when mind 
and body are exhausted by long-continued 
or monotonous toil, or domestic duty. It 
follows that, in the choice of a locality and 
in the manner of conducting the trip, the in- 
clination should be consulted not less than 
general convenience. It is too much the 
practice to make a toil of a pleasure, and 
create occasions of annoyance in the course 
of the annual holiday. Everything should 
be planned to leave the mind free as regards 
the obligations of home duty, and enable it 
to share the advantages of the change be- 
stowed on the body. There is plenty of 
thought for the physical part of man's na- 
ture ; it may not be unreasonable to put in 
a plea for the consideration of his needs as 
a being endowed with a mental part, which 
is apt to be overmuch burdened with re- 
sponsibility and harassed by many cares. 
The annual outing will be incomparably 
more enjoyable, and productive of lasting 
benefit, if these needs of the mind are con- 
sidered, instead of being systematically over- 
looked. People go away anxious, and return 
to mourn over the smallness of the benefit 
they have received. They took their wor- 
ries with them, and might almost as well 
have staid at home. Lancet. 

What is a Poison ? Under the fanciful 
title of '' The Keys of Death," we find in the 
" Monthly Journal of Science " a very in- 
teresting article on the subject of poisons. 
The author asks, in the first place, what is a 
poison, but science, he holds, is not yet qual- 
ified to give an answer. Certain physiolo- 
gists have concluded that whatever is poi- 
sonous in large doses must also be poison- 
ous in the minutest. But it is easy to give 
instances where, if the reagents employed 
are less in proportion, or weaker than the 
required standard, we obtain, not a smaller 
quantity of the product sought for, but a sub- 
stance totally different. Oxygen is a case 
in point : diluted, it sustains life ; pure, it 
destroys it. So with sulphuric acid. Mixed 
largely with water, it is a refreshing, tonic 
beverage ; in the concentrated state it de- 
stroys all parts of the system which it touch- 



es. Again, a definition of poisons has been 
based on the faet that while certain articles 
of food undergo decomposition in the stom- 
ach, poisons do not. Then water is a poi- 
son, for it does not suffer decomposition in 
the system. 

But, turning aside from these definitions, 
we find included under the general name of 
" poisons " two very different classes of bod- 
ies, viz., "germs" which, when absorbed by 
an animal, bring on such diseases as rabies, 
small-pox, cholera, etc. in short, the zy- 
motic diseases ; and, in the second place, 
the true poisons, such as arsenic, strychnine, 
aconitine, etc. These latter substances are 
well-defined chemical individuals. When in- 
troduced into the system they set up morbid 
action almost immediately, and if the dose 
be sufficient the symptoms go on increasing 
in violence till death ensues. A character- 
istic feature is that their noxious power may 
be decreased or even extinguished by dilu- 

The other class, however, the ferments, 
are not definite chemical principles, capable 
of being isolated, of entering into combina- 
tion with other bodies, and of being sepa- 
rated again ; they are, so far as we know, 
living organisms of low type. 

The immunity of certain animals from 
the action of poisons which are fatal to oth- 
ers is remarkable. This difference of sus- 
ceptibility often exists between individuals 
of the same species, being developed in some 
cases by natural selection, in others by ha- 
bituation. The author of the paper in the 
" Journal of Science " gives the following 
list of caterpillars which feed on poisonous 
plants : Gonopteri/x rhamni, on JRhamnus 
catharticut, ; Thats polyxcna, on species of 
Aristolochia ; Danais archippus and chrysip- 
pics, upon various Asclepiads ; Dcihphila 
galii, Nicea, and Euphorbia, on specie8 of 
Euphorbia ; Chcerocampa nerii, on the ole- 
ander ; Sphinx polia cappa, on staves-acre ; 
Heliothisa armigera, on tobacco ; and Chrys- 
optera mohcta, on monk's-hood. 

A New Electric Pen. In the " Monde de 
la Science " is a description of an improved 
electric pen, much cheaper than Edison's, 
and not so fatiguing to the operator; the 
inventor would appear to be an English- 
man, Wentworth L. Scott. The pen con- 

sists of an open glass tube drawn out to a 
point at one end, where there is a minute 
orifice. Within the tube is a copper wire, 
to which a fine platinum point is soldered 
toward the lower end of the pen. This cop- 
per wire is held in the middle of the tube 
by means of a cork stopper at the larger 
end (the upper end of the pen). The point 
of platinum should just reach the tip of the 
pen. To work the instrument the copper 
wire is connected with one of the poles of a 
Rub mkorff coil. The other pole is connect- 
ed with a zinc plate, on which the paper is 
to be laid. The circuit is now closed, and 
so soon as the current flows it causes the 
interrupter of the Ruhmkorff coil to vibrate. 
The pen is then made to move over the paper, 
as in writing, care being taken only to touch 
the glass tube, for fear of electric shocks, 
and electric sparks are seen to pass with 
great rapidity between the point of the pen 
and the paper. On holding up the paper 
between the eye and the light, the track 
of the pen is seen to consist of minute per- 
forations, like those produced by Edison's 
electric pen. The instrument is as light as 
a common pen. The cost of the whole ap- 
paratus is trifling, about eighteen francs. 

Alnm as an Adulterant of Baking-Pow- 
ders. Dr. Henry A. Mott, Jr., employed as 
chemist for the Indian Department, having 
made analyses of different baking-powders, 
publishes in the "Scientific American" as 
the result of his investigations the statement 
that at least fifty per cent, of the many bak- 
ing-powders examined by him were grossly 
adulterated. Dr. Mott found that the inju- 
rious powders are composed of alum and bi- 
carbonate of soda, oftentimes containing also 
terra alba, insoluble phosphate of lime, etc. 
The best powders are composed of bitartrate 
of potash (cream of tartar), tartaric acid, 
carbonate of ammonia, and bicarbonate of 
soda, held together by a little starch to pre- 
vent decomposition. The injurious effects 
of alum on the digestive organs have been 
pointed out by eminent chemists and physi- 
cians : it produces dyspepsia, constipation, 
vomiting, griping ; it is a powerful astrin- 
gent, acting chemically on the tissues. Says 
Dumas, the French chemist : " It is to be 
feared that this salt (alum) exerts a dead- 
ly action by its daily introduction into the 



stomach, especially in persons of weak con- 
stitution." Liebig condemns the use of 
alum in bread-making on this ground among 
others, that it combines with the soluble 
phosphates, forming insoluble salts, and 
thus the phosphorus of the grain is lost to 
the system. Dr. Mott's paper exhibits as 
follows the results of the analysis of four 
brands of baking-powder : 

dooley's standard baking-powder. 

Burnt alum 26-45 per cent. 

Bicarbonate of soda 24-17 " " 

Sesquicarbonate of ammonia 2'31 " " 

Cream of tartar None 

Starch 47-07 " " 



Burnt alum 2003 percent. 

Bicarbonate of soda 22-80 " " 

Cream of tartar None 

Starch 57-17 " " 



Burnt alum 30-06 per cent. 

Bicarbonate of soda 31-82 " " 

Cream of tartar None 

Starch 38-12 " " 



Bumtalum 22-53 percent. 

Bicarbonute of soda 21-79 " " 

Cream of tartar None 

Starch 55-68 " " 


Adnlteration of Food and Drngs. Some 
astounding facts with regard to the adul- 
teration of articles of food and medicine are 
brought together by the " Medical and Sur- 
gical Reporter,"' being taken from various 
medical and pharmaceutical periodicals. 
Thus we are told that in New England sev- 
eral mills are engaged in grinding white 
stone into powder for purposes of adultera- 
tion, three grades of powder being ground 
at some of the mills, viz., a soda grade, a 
sugar grade, and a flour grade. A Boston 
chemist has found seventy-five per cent, of 
terra alba in a sample of cream-tartar; and 
most of our confectionery contains thirty- 
three per cent, or more of this substance. 
These and many other adulterations of ma- 
terials used in the preparation of food have 
been pointed out in " The Sanitarian." The 

adulteration of drugs is practiced to such an 
extent that " in some localities a conscien- 
tious pharmacist is hardly able to earn a 
livelihood, owing to the mean and dishonest 
competition which surrounds him." " Sali- 
eine," writes a physician in a Louisville 
medical journal, " is heavily adulterated by 
mixing it with cinchonidia sulphate." Again, 
the editor of " The Pharmacist " sought in 
vain among the druggists of Chicago for 
black sulphuret of antimony. He obtained 
what purported to be that substance at 
seven wholesale drug-houses ; but not a 
trace of antimony was to be found in any 
of the samples ! Analysis showed it to be 
in most cases simply marble-dust blackened 
with soot. 

Pinto's Trip across Southern Africa. A 

telegram received at Lisbon, on March 11th, 
announced the arrival of Major Serpa Pinto 
on the eastern coast of Africa, after having 
traversed the continent from Benguela on 
the west coast. We take from " Das Aus- 
land " the following account of Major Pinto's 
memorable journey : On November 12, 18*77, 
he set out from Benguela, in Lower Guinea 
(about latitude 13 south), and on March 8, 
1878, entered the negro kingdom of Bihe, 
where he had his first fight with the natives. 
He devoted himself particularly to the ex- 
ploration of the upper and middle Zambesi, 
that grand stream which, lying some ten 
degrees of latitude south of the Congo, 
like that river traverses almost the entire 
breadth of the African Continent. If it 
is the purpose of Portugal to found in 
equatorial Africa another Brazil, the most 
accurate knowledge of the course of the 
Zambesi must be of the utmost importance 
to her. Portugal controls the coast on 
both sides, the western and the eastern, in 
equatorial South Africa, and, if she suc- 
ceeds in establishing communication be- 
tween these two coasts by means of the 
Zambesi, the new colonial empire would 
be a fact. This project is favored by the 
wealth of gold found in the lower Zambesi 
regions, and it is surely no mere accident 
that latterly the Government has been mak- 
ing large concessions to English and Portu- 
guese companies. Incidentally Major Pinto 
appears to have revealed the mystery of the 
Cubango, a stream whose sources are not 



very distant from those of the Zambesi, but 
which soon takes a north and south direc- 
tion. Only the upper course of this stream 
was hitherto known to Europeans. It was 
supposed that farther down it turned to the 
west and flowed into the Atlantic as the 
Owambo or Cunene. Pinto has now prob- 
ably made the discovery that the Cubango 
is a tributary of the Zambesi. However 
this may be, our knowledge of the interior 
of Africa has been considerably enlarged by 
Pinto's journey. 

On reaching the Transvaal Territory the 
explorer sent the following dispatch to the 
King of Portugal: "I ain now six days' 
journey from the Indian Ocean, and on the 
point of completing my march across Afri- 
ca from the west coast. I have struggled 
against hunger and thirst, wild beasts, sav- 
ages, floods, and drought, and have happily 
surmounted all these obstacles. My records 
are safe, and consist of twenty geographical 
charts, three volumes of important coordi- 
nates, meteorological notes, three volumes 
of sketches, and a voluminous journal. I 
have lost several men. Complete study of the 
upper Zambesi, sixty-two cataracts and rap- 
ids. Plan of the cataracts. The natives 
fierce ; unceasing wars. The secret of the 
Cubango. Serpa Pinto." 

Strength of Hard and Soft Steel. It has 

hitherto been supposed that a soft bar of 
steel can longer resist the disintegrating 
action of strains and shocks than a hard 
one, but experiments made by W. Metcalf, 
of Pittsburg, appear to prove the contrary 
to be the fact. His attention was first called 
to this matter by the constant breaking of 
steam-hammer piston-rods. Made of ordi- 
nary steel, they lasted but six months, an 
iron rod lasting but half as long. Then 
lower and lower steels were tried, and broke 
in about five months. In an emergency, a 
rod of comparatively high steel was em- 
ployed, and this, which it was supposed 
could not serve for more than a week or 
two, held out for more than two years. This 
result led Mr. Metcalf to investigate the 
whole subject systematically, and a lot of 
small steel connecting-rods were tested in 
a special machine. The test required was, 
that a machine should run 4-| hours at a 
rate of 1,200 revolutions per minute, un- 

loaded, before the connecting-rod broke. 
These rods were unforged in the middle, and 
consisted of a piece of round bar with a 
head welded on each end. " The mode of 
rupture was," says Mr. Metcalf, " as a rule, 
the same in all cases ; the rod heated at the 
middle, where the vibrations met, as they 
were imparted by rotary motion at one end, 
and by reciprocating motion at the other, 
and by alternating strains of compression 
and extension. In some cases the rod be- 
came slightly red-hot at the middle before 
rupture. After heating, the next thing ob- 
served was the raising or loosening of the 
surface scale of the middle. Soon after this, 
rupture began, first at the surface and grad- 
ually extending to the center. The break- 
ing was gradual in every case, no piece break- 
ing suddenly, even of the highest steel. The 
first trial was with "53 carbon steel: mean 
time of six trials, 2 hours 9^ minutes. Sec- 
ond trial, - 65 carbon steel : mean time of six 
trials, 2 hours 57 minutes. Third trial, 
85 carbon steel : mean time of three trials, 
9 hours 45 minutes, and the trials were 
stopped." A set of twelve connecting-rods, 
made from special ingots, was then pre- 
pared. These were tested with the follow- 
ing results : 

The '30 C ran 1 hour 21 minutes, heated 
and bent before breaking. 

The '49 ran 1 hour 28 minutes. 

The -53 ran 4 hours 57 minutes, broke 
without heating. 

The -65 ran 3 hours 50 minutes, broke 
at weld where imperfect. 

The '80 ran 5 hours 40 minutes. 

The -84 ran 18 hours. 

87 C broke in weld near the end. 

96 C ran 4 hours 55 minutes, and the 
machine broke down. 

The whole twelve were not tested, because 
the machine was needed for other works, 
and, when Mr. Metcalf returned to complete 
the experiment, it was discovered that the 
foreman of the shop had picked up the un- 
broken specimens, put them into machines, 
and sent them off". Enough was done, how- 
ever, to show that the maximum of strength 
to resist vibration was not found among the 
ductile steels. Mr. Metcalf gives some other 
data concerning the performance of steel 
suspension-rods in a bridge that corroborate 
his views, which are practically novel. 




In a cave near Decatur, Ohio, were re- 
cently found, imbedded in ashes, fragments 
of human bones, pieces of pottery, also bones 
of wild animals, shells, etc. According to 
a correspondent of the " Marietta Register," 
the human jawbones found in this cave are 
very large, and have the teeth well pre- 
served. They have one tooth back of the 
" wisdom-tooth." All the long bones were 
broken or split a probable indication of 
cannibal practices. 

A curious fact in the history of the 
yellow-fever epidemic last year, in New 
Orleans was, that in the Fourth District, 
the death-rate of males was seventy per cent, 
greater than that of females, though the 
sanitary census of 1877 showed that the 
female population of the district exceeded 
the male by 1,261. The comparative im- 
munity of the negro race appears from the 
faet that while the white population of the 
district (29,482 souls) lost 569 persons by 
death, the black population (6,883 souls) 
lost only 29. If the negroes had died in 
the same ratio as the whites, they would 
have lost about 130. 

As an illustration of the sudden extreme 
alternations of temperature in northern Da- 
kota and Montana, Dr. P. F. Harvey, U. S. 
Army, states that in August, 1876, while on 
duty with an expedition against hostile In- 
dians, he saw the thermometer record 116 
Fahr. in the shade at the mouth of the Rose- 
bud River ; thirty-six hours afterward, the 
temperature had fallen to very nearly the 
freezing-point ; and, on the morning of the 
second day following, he scraped hoar-frost 
1'rom a log in front of his tent. 

The " Examiner" notes an extraordinary 
decrease in the number of students of theolo- 
gy at the German universities. The decrease 
is so great that is several states there has 
been an insufficiency of candidates for the 
pulpit. Until now Schleswig-Holstein was 
an extensive nursery of theologians, but there 
also a falling off by nearly 40 per cent, has 
recently occurred. At Kiel there are at 
present 24, at other German universities 28 
students of theology from Sehleswig-Hol- 
stein altogether 52. Six years ago there 
were still 90 of them, while fifty years ago 
there were no less than 168 students of the- 
ology at Kiel alone, almost all of them Schles- 

Underground telegraph cables arc now 
completed between Berlin and Cologne. Co- 
logne and Elberfeld, Frankfort and Stras- 
burg, and Hamburg and Cuxhaven ; the total 
length of these lines is 1,554 miles, and the 
cost about $3,000,000. 

The suggestion is made in "Dingler's 
Polytechnisches Journal " that air for ven- 
tilation be drawn into buildings through 
tubes sunk about three metres in the ground 
(say ten feet). By this means it would in 
winter be warmed 15' or 16 Fahr., and in 
summer cooled 2U to 23 Fahr. 

Peter Le Neve Foster, for twenty-five 
years Secretary of the London Society of 
Arts, died recently, at the age of seventy 
years. A lawyer by profession, Mr. Foster 
took a lively interest in various departments 
of science. He was one of the first to prac- 
tice, as a scientific amateur, the art of pho- 
tography, and was a frequent contributor 
of articles on that subject to periodicals 
and cyclopaedias. He was President of the 
Queckett Microscopical Club for one year, 
and from 1863 to 1866 served on the Coun- 
cil of the British Association. 

The London Geological Society has 
awarded the Bigsby Medal to Professor E. 
D. Cope, of Philadelphia, in recognition of 
his services to the science of paleontology. 

In Brazil the coffee plantations, like the 
vineyards in France, are threatened with 
destruction by the ravages of a minute para- 
site. The roots of the plants are found cov- 
ered with knots and swellings like those 
seen on the roots of the grapevine infested 
by the phylloxera. In these swellings are 
found minute nematode worms one fourth of 
a millimetre id length when fully developed. 
A single root often contains as many as fifty 
million of these parasites. 

The larva of the tapeworm known as 
Taenia solium comes from " measly " pork, 
and the mature worm has a head bearing 
a crown of hooks. Tcenia mediocandlaia 
is derived from beef and mutton ; it has a 
larger head, which is unarmed. It has com- 
monly been supposed that the former spe- 
cies is more frequently found in human sub- 
jects than the latter, but Professor Leidy is 
of the contrary opinion. Thorough cooking 
of meats is a sure preventive of the devel- 
opment of these unwelcome entozoa. 

An apparatus, the invention of an Amer- 
ican, for carrying a line to a vessel in dis- 
tress was lately tested in England. It con- 
sists of a projectile weighing V2h pounds, the 
necessary line included. This projectile is 
placed in a gun, the wrong or heavy end 
first, and on leaving the muzzle, at once 
turns over, the front end becoming the rear. 
In shape it is an elongated shell 12 inches 
long, 3^ inches in diameter, carrying a line 
tightly coiled within, which it pays out as 
it flies through the air. At 22 elevation, 
the distances reached by the projectile were 
389, 448, and 507 yards, the deviation of 
the shot and line from the target being 4|, 
nine, and eight yards respectively. 




JULY, 1879. 


THOSE inventions are deserving of special honor, and generally 
receive the most substantial recognition, which develop new in- 
dustries or utilize waste products. 

The glycerine industry, which has attained colossal proportions, is 
a notable illustration of a great manufacture based entirely upon the 
saving of what until lately was a waste product of the soap-boiler. 
As even more important, I may mention the industries connected with 
the manufacture of aniline dyes and artificial madder from the refuse 
coal-tar that was formerly the curse and nuisance of the gas-works. 
Old boots and shoes and leather waste are turned to good account by 
the chemical manufacturer in producing the cyanides, ferro and ferrid 
cyanides, so indispensable in color-printing and photography. Of the 
carcasses of slaughtered animals, not a scrap or morsel is allowed to 
go to waste, as you are well aware ; and even the waste blood of the 
abattoir is used by the sugar-refiner and the manufacturer of albumen. 
Sawdust mixed with blood, or some other agglutinative substance, and 
compressed by powerful pressure in heated dies, is formed into door- 
knobs, hardware and furniture trimmings, buttons, and a thousand use- 
ful and decorative articles ; or, as is the case with the spent bark of 
the tanneries, it is utilized for fuel under steam-boilers. Oyster-shells, 
of which our barbarous progenitors of ages ago made the shell-mounds 
that delight the soul of the anthropologist of to-day, are burned to 
lime ; the waste of the linseed-oil manufacturers is eagerly sought 
after as food for cattle ; the waste ashes of wood-fires are leached for 
potash ; river-mud is mingled with chalk, and burned and ground to 

* An address delivered at the opening of the spring course of lectures of the Wagner 
Free Institute of Science, Philadelphia, March 1, 1879. 
vol. xv. 19 


make the famous Portland cement ; and the ruthless hand of Utilitarian- 
ism has not even respected the brickbat, that had served from time 
immemorial only to crack the heads of opposing factions, but grinds 
it up to make cement with lime. The finest glue size is made from 
the waste of parchment skins. The waste gases of the blast-furnace 
are now utilized to heat the blast, to generate the steam that drives the 
engine that makes the blast, to hoist ores, drive machinery, etc. ; and 
even the slag, that has served for years only to decorate the hillsides, 
is now cast into paving and building blocks, or granulated to make 
building sand, or ground for cement, or mixed with suitable chemicals 
and turned into the commoner grades of glass, or blown by a jet of 
steam into the finest filaments to form the curious substance called 
mineral wool, now largely used as a non-conductor of heat upon steam- 
pipes, boilers, roofs, etc., etc. 

So, too, the enormous hills of anthracite-coal dirt, that in the coai 
regions of our State have for years borne silent but eloquent testi- 
mony to the crudity and wastefulness of our methods of mining coal, 
now bid fair soon to disappear beneath boilers supplied with ingenious 
dust-burning devices, or in the form of lumps of artificial fuel. Even 
the anthracite-coal dej)osits, now so enormously valuable, were a few 
years ago but so many layers of black stone, unappreciated and value- 
less. The waste heat of the lime-kiln is made to generate steam, and 
warm immense public buildings in England and on the Continent ; and 
the " exhaust " of the steam-engine is made to do service in heating 
the water fed into the boiler. 

I might multiply examples like the above almost indefinitely, to 
show how, with the most beneficent results, the genius of invention 
has enabled us to reap advantages where none were supposed to exist, 
or where, if they were suspected, they were undervalued or simply 

And now, having briefly shown, by a few typical examples, what 
modern invention has done and is doing to utilize the waste products 
of nature and of the arts, I shall invite you to consider with me whether 
there are not waste forces in nature that can and should be turned to 
useful account, or to vastly better account than we are now putting 
them ; and whether we must not plead guilty to the crime of neglect- 
ing to avail ourselves of exhaustless and incalculable stores of power 
that simply wait to do our bidding. 

Before I pass to the consideration of what I have called the 
" Waste Forces of Nature " by which I mean to designate such of 
the natural powers as the world of industry has thus far passed over 
altogether it will be instructive for us to consider whether we are 
doing what we ought to do with those that are used, and whether, with 
all the inventions of our skilled mechanics and engineers, the actual 
practical results that we obtain from the various sources of power 
used in the industries do not fall far below what theory declares it to 


be possible to attain. Suppose we take steam, the almost universal 
motive power of to-day, as an example, and put the inquiries, What 
ought we to get out of it and what do we get out of it ? And when I 
am through, I think that many of my hearers, who have heretofore en- 
tertained the belief that steam-engineering was a field that had been so 
thoroughly worked up that but little remained to be accomplished in 
the direction of increasing the duty of our steam-motors, will be will- 
ing to acknowledge themselves mistaken. 

To get at the practical duty of a steam-engine, we must begin with 
the source of the power, the steam-generator popularly and most 
inappropriately called the steam-boiler ; and, as the source and origin 
of the power generated in the boiler and directly traceable to the com- 
bustion of the fuel, it is evident that we must begin with that. Let us 
inquire, therefore, what power we ought to get from a perfect steam- 
engine burning pure coal, and then compare it with what we do get in 
the best steam-engine practice of to-day. 

To understand the deductions I shall shortly make in getting at 
this comparison between theory and practice, I prefer to invite you 
to follow me through a few theoretical considerations, rather than ask 
you to accept the conclusions simply on my bare assertion. 

It has long been known that a definite relation exists between the 
quantity of heat developed in a given operation and the quantity of 
mechanical force (manifested as work) that could be obtained from 
that heat. The absolute nature of this equivalency is tacitly recog- 
nized, though perhaps imperfectly comprehended in the practice of 
every branch of industry employing heat as a source of power ; for 
it is this fact which establishes the dimensions of the steam-boiler, and 
the several proportions of the engine to do the work required of it. 
The steam-engine, in simple language, is simply an apparatus for turn- 
ing heat into work ; and it is, therefore, quite possible to express the 
value of a given quantity of the form of energy we call heat in terms 
of mechanical energy that we call " work " ; and scientific investi- 
gation has established an admirable unit for this comparison in the 
" foot-pound" that is, the force required to raise a pound weight to 
the height of one foot. 

Now, to estimate the value of heat in terms of work, it was found 
necessary to determine the amount of mechanical force necessary to 
raise the sensible heat of one pound of water one degree in tempera- 
ture. This amount has been carefully determined by several eminent 
savants, and has been given the name of the "mechanical equivalent 
of heat." The value of this constant has been found to be 772 foot- 
pounds that is to say, the mechanical energy possessed by a body 
weighing one pound, after falling from a height of 772 feet, would, if 
it could all be converted into the form of energy we call heat, be 
exactly sufficient to raise the temperature of one pound of water 1 
Fahr. (where the centigrade thermometer is employed, this constant 


will have a value of 772 x 1*8 = 1,390 foot-pounds). Now, this much 
having been gained in fixing the principle of our calculations, let us go 
back to our steam-boiler, and to the coal we feed it with. It has been 
experimentally determined that, if the entire quantity of heat given 
off during the burning of one pound of pure coal could be applied 
without loss to heating water, it would suffice to raise the temperature 
of one pound of water 7,900 C. ; or, what is the same thing, differ- 
ently stated, it would be sufficient to raise the temperature of 7,900 
pounds of water one degree. The possible mechanical duty of the 
" theoretically perfect " steam-engine is found by simply multiplying 
the quantity which expresses the thermal equivalent of coal by the 
quantity which expresses the mechanical equivalent of heat, and the 
result would be the true value of one pound of coal burned in the 
boiler in " foot-pounds." Performing this simple arithmetical opera- 
tion, we obtain (7,900 x 1,390 =) 10,980,000 foot-pounds ; or, to put it 
more simply, suppose we convert these foot-pounds into horse-power, 
which we can do by another simple arithmetical operation of dividing 
them by 33,000, and we shall have as a result that one pound of pure 
coal, burned in the perfect boiler in one minute, would, if we could 
apply it with absolute economy to the performance of work, exert a 
force of (-^^(nf- =) 332 horse-power during one minute; or, if 
burned during an hour, then one sixtieth of 332, or 5*5 horse-power. 

With a perfect boiler, therefore, we ought to get 5*5 horse-power 
per hour out of every pound of coal burned on the grate-bars. Now, 
let us inquire, What do we get in practice ? Surely, you will say, our 
scientific mechanics and engineers have succeeded in getting a goodly 
percentage out of this possible figure ; and the splendid engines, of 
massive construction, that work so beautifully as to excite our wonder 
and admiration at their smoothness and ease of their movements, must 
be very near perfection. Alas for the vanity of human expectations ! 
Instead of getting 5 # 5 horse-power out of every pound of coal we 
burn in the boiler, the very best boiler and engine that have ever been 
constructed require two and a half pounds of coal to give out one 
horse-power : which means that, in spite of the vaunted progress of the 
mechanic arts in our times, the best engineering talent applied to the 
improvement of the steam-engine, from the time of James Watt down 
to Corliss, has only succeeded in making it yield a duty of 15 per cent, 
of what it ought to do, leaving an enormous margin of 85 per cent, for 
future improvements. 

In the foregoing remarks I have, I fear, inadvertently been unjust to 
our engine-builders, for by far the greater portion of this 85 per cent, 
of wasted power is chargeable directly to the steam-boiler, and but a 
comparatively small proportion thereof to the engine. In considering 
the question of the duty of steam-motors, however, we must take the 
whole machine (engine and boiler), as a single apparatus. If our 
boiler-makers could do as well as our engine-builders the two indus- 


tries are quite separate, as you may know the showing would he much 
more favorable. 

It will be instructive, I think, to trace out the causes of the great 
waste of power that I have just pointed out, and to see if there are no 
means of remedying them. And if you will follow me, they will be 
very apparent. 

The first and greatest source of loss resides in the difficulty I may, 
I think, safely say the impossibility of burning solid fuel economi- 
cally in any form of furnace that has yet been devised ; and this prime 
difficulty is an unanswerable argument in favor of the substitution of 
liquid or gaseous fuel for steam-making as for other purposes. Let us 
analyze the matter : The buyer of coal purchases at the outset at least 
10 to 15 per cent, of non-combustible and useless material with every 
pound of coal, in the form of ash ; while at least 5 per cent, more of 
the coal is lost by falling through the grate-bars in the form of the 
dust or partially burned fragments that find their way into the ash-pit 
unutilized. If even now, with so much waste as I have just indicated, 
we could really turn to useful account the whole of the thermal effect 
of the 85 per cent, or 80 per cent, of the combustible that we have 
left, we might well be content ; but such is far from being the case. 
The furnace gases can not, by any possible mode of constructing boil- 
ers, be retained long enough in contact with the steam-generator to 
yield up all their heat, and they are thrown out from the chimney fre- 
quently at a temperature of 800 Fahr. ; and, what is still worse, their 
combustion is frequently so imperfect that they carry off with them 
out of the chimney great volumes of unburned carbon in the form of 
smoke ; the cold air with which the fuel is fed, and which must be- 
come highly heated before it will begin to combine with the fuel, and 
which abstracts this heat from the glowing coals through which it 
passes, is another serious item of loss, which is intensified by the 
necessity of frequently opening the furnace-doors when large volumes 
of cold air rush into the fire-space ; and, lastly, the conduction and 
radiation of heat from the generator to surrounding objects complete 
the category of losses. Summing up all the items of loss in the steam- 
generator, it is probable that with the best forms of boilers which it has 
been possible to construct, not more than 25 per cent, of the theoretical 
thermal effect of the fuel is utilized in the generation of steam ; and 
of this 25 per cent., from 5 to 10 per cent, is lost somewhere on the 
passage of the steam from the boiler to and through the engine by 
condensation in steam-pipes, and friction of the machinery, leaving us 
but 15 or 20 per cent, actually realized in practice. I beg that you 
will not think that I have purposely made the case of the steam-engine 
worse than it is ; for, so far from doing so, I have actually made out 
the most favorable possible showing for it, by selecting for my exam- 
ple the best practice of the best makers. 

Much of this loss, possibly the half of it, I have no hesitation in 


ascribing to the use of solid fuel coal or wood. And I take this 
opportunity of putting myself on record before you, as I have done 
for years persistently in the scientific journals, as an earnest advocate 
of fuel in the gaseous form, not only for industrial and manufacturing 
purposes, but also in the household. Let me give you a few thoughts 
on this subject. 

The great and obvious advantage of gaseous fuel to leave the 
question of its convenience, at present, out of sight resides in the 
fact that the character of the fuel permits of its instantaneous and 
perfect intermixture with the air, by which a vastly more perfect com- 
bustion is insured an advantage that finds admirable expression in the 
regenerative furnace of Siemens. Where Nature, however, supplies 
us with an abundance of combustible gases, as in certain favored 
localities in our oil regions, to which I shall have occasion to refer 
hereafter, an additional advantage is gained, since she has saved us 
the necessity of making it ; and the practical utilization of the product 
of the numerous gas-wells of our oil regions has proved of enormous 
advantage to the manufacturers of these localities. 

But in addition to the advantage I have just alluded to, namely, 
the great gain due to the more perfect combustion of gaseous fuel, 
there are other advantages on the score of convenience and economy 
that are no less important. I refer here to the saving in the carriage 
of coal from the yard to the place of delivery, and the recarriage of 
ashes charges which are especially onerous in the numerous cases 
where boilers, stoves, etc., are located in the upper stories of buildings, 
or situated inconveniently as regards ordinary delivery by wagons. 
The saving in wages of stokers, to clear the fireplaces, and keep 
the heat of the furnace always at the proper intensity difficulties 
which the adoption of gaseous fuel would entirely obviate, since 
it furnishes no ashes to remove and the proper regulation of the 
gas supply, would insure a perfectly uniform heating effect for hours 
together, without supervision or attention of any kind. The inci- 
dental saving of fuel or steam, whenever, by improper regulation, or 
the inattention of stokers, the furnaces are allowed to become too hot ; 
and, on the other hand, the saving in time and material that would oth- 
erwise be wasted by low fires and the frequent necessity of stoppages, 
until the required steam pressure is restored ; and last, but not least, 
the great saving of fuel now universally wasted in keeping up boiler, 
and range, and heater, and stove fires overnight, and at all seasons 
all these, and other items that I have probably overlooked in this 
hasty outline of the subject, form together an array of objectionable 
features sufficient to bring any system into disuse, where a remedy so 
easy to apply as the adoption of fuel in the gaseous state is at hand. 

I do not wish to be understood as intimating that the use of our 
common burning-gas would be a panacea for all the ills I have nar- 
rated, for its cost would preclude its general adoption for industrial 


purposes, to take the place of coal or wood. For domestic purposes, 
however, in the form of gas-stoves, even at the present high cost of 
this form of gas, it has been already largely adopted, and with advan- 
tage and economy ; while for every form of light work, where power 
is only required intermittently, as in printing-offices, elevators, hoists, 
and the like, gas-engines, using ordinary coal-gas, are, even at pres- 
ent prices, decidedly more economical than steam, since they may 
be started and stopped instantaneously, and when idle are wasting 
nothing. And in the case of a steam-engine the steam must be kept 
up all the time, though the engine may not be wanted more than an 
hour or two in the day. 

I look forward to the time, and I believe it is not far distant, when 
we shall have "heating-gas" laid through the streets of our cities and 
towns, side by side with lighting-gas and water-mains, and when our 
mills, and factories, and workshops, our parlors and kitchens, will be 
supplied with heat from that source, and when fires of wood and coal, 
with their abominations of dirt and ashes, and extravagance, will be 
looked upon as nuisances of the "good old times" when they knew no 

To come back again to the subject of the steam-engine, from which 
I have digressed further than I had intended, I may mention the cir- 
cumstance that the enormous wastefulness of this species of motor has 
originated the thought that electrical engines might be constructed to 
develop power more economically. A consideration of this topic, 
however, would take so much of our time this evening that I must 
pass it by with the brief remark that the galvanic battery can not 
compete in economy with the steam-engine, until some cheap mode of 
generating electricity shall be discovered. The fuel of the battery is 
zinc, and, even though we can get fifty per cent, of its theoretical 
power by burning it in the battery, its cost is so much higher than that 
of coal, the fuel of the steam-engine, that the latter has the advantage, 
at the present time, of forty to one on its side. 

The recent great advances, however, that have been made in the 
construction and improvement of what are known as dynamo- electric 
machines, by which mechanical power, no matter how generated, 
whether from the steam-engine, the wind, or waterfall, could be di- 
rectly converted into electricity, appear to have solved the problem 
of the cheap generation of electricity in any quantity, and have opened 
a wide field of speculation as to the possible extensive introduction of 
magnetic engines to take the place of steam. For I need scarcely 
tell you that electricity can be transmitted with but very little loss 
over great distances, by metallic conductors properly insulated, and 
made to drive magnetic engines to do the work of steam, or to furnish 
light for cities and towns, at pleasure. I shall take occasion to revert 
again to this very interesting topic in the course of the evening. 

This remark brings us at length directly to the theme of my dis- 


course the " Waste Forces of Nature," to which I now invite your 

Of these, the first to be named, from the magnitude of the possi- 
bilities that advanced thinkers have attached to it, is that fountain of 
all terrestrial energy, our sun. 

To introduce this topic properly, I beg to remind you at the outset 
that the progress of science during the last half century has been 
most pronounced and satisfactory in the investigation of the nature, 
origin, interdependence, and interconvertibility of the various mani- 
festations of energy that are called familiarly " the forces of na- 
ture" ; and among the most philosophical generalizations that the 
science of our times may boast of having established is the demonstra- 
tion, upon the most complete and satisfactory experimental evidence, 
that every manifestation of terrestrial activity has more or less direct- 
ly a solar origin. Every exhibition of force, physical or chemical, 
inorganic or vital, the multifarious consequences connected with the 
circulation of air and water over the surface of the earth, and in her 
oceans, and which involve the causation of the winds, aerial and 
aqueous currents, and rainfall, and the effects of these commonplace 
but vastly important phenomena in establishing and maintaining those 
climatic conditions upon which the existence of life upon the earth is 
absolutely dependent, are directly referable to the forces of solar ra- 
diation. Ay, there is good reason for the belief, which is entertained 
by most competent and eminent authorities, that the periodical recur- 
rence of famines and pestilences and other scourges that afflict man- 
kind, and which the superstitious of all ages are wont to ascribe to 
the anger of an offended deity, coincides with the periodical maxima 
and minima in the intensity of the solar emanations that reach the 
earth ; and that even such apparently disconnected and arbitrary 
things as the social and political affairs of mankind, which are intimate- 
ly bound up with the successful pursuit of agriculture and commerce, 
are therefore demonstrably under the direct and immediate dominion 
of the solar rays. 

But, to return from a digression that is only of incidental interest 
to us here, I desire you to conceive of the amazing fact that the stu- 
pendous aggregate of terrestrial activity is derived from that infinites- 
imal fraction only of the solar emanations that is intercepted by the 
earth a fraction less than the two-billionth part of the sum total of 
energy that he is unceasingly radiating into space ; and it is my imme- 
diate purpose here to invite your attention to the interesting question 
whether it is within human reach to convert a portion of the measure- 
less floods of power that the sun pours out upon the earth into me- 
chanical energy, or into other forms in which it will be more directly 
available for useful purposes. 

The proposition here announced, I must advise you, is not the 
visionary notion of impracticable theorists, but is one that, on the con- 


trary, has seriously occupied the attention of such eminent practical 
engineers and mechanics as Ericsson, and others scarcely less widely 
and favorably known ; and, although up to the present time nothing 
very tangible has resulted from their labors, they have at least suc- 
ceeded in demonstrating, beyond reasonable doubt, that the problem 
is susceptible of practical solution. 

To convey some adequate notion of the incalculable floods of power 
that await the bidding of the compelling genius of invention, I will 
invite your attention to a very brief resume of the well-substantiated 
results of scientific research applied to the subject. The French phys- 
icist Pouillet, with the aid of elaborately refined apparatus, estimated 
that the earth receives from the sun in each and every minute 2,247 
billions of units of heat a quantity sufficient, if converted into me- 
chanical force, to raise 2,247 billions X 774 pounds to the height of 
one foot. To come down to figures that are less difficult of concep- 
tion, let us confine our attention to that part of the solar heat that 
falls upon the oceans, and to the fraction of that portion which is ex- 
pended in the work of evaporating the water. 

Without entering into an explanation of the modes in which the 
following calculations have been made, and which would run into far 
greater length than the limited time at my disposal this evening would 
warrant, I will simply give you the results. 

I have said, you will remember, that we would confine our atten- 
tion to that portion of the solar heat that falls upon the oceans, and to 
that fraction of it which is expended in the work of evaporating the 
water ; in doing which alone, the sun raises during every minute an 
average of not less than 2,000,000,000 tons of water to a height of 
3^- miles the mean altitude of the clouds. To express this prodigious 
exercise of power in more familiar form, I may put it this way, that to 
continuously raise this weight of water to the height of 3^ miles per 
minute would require the continuous exercise of the force of 2,757,- 
000,000,000 horses per minute. 

Here, then, is power enough to satisfy the most enthusiastic inventor, 
and leave him plenty of margin ; and if the believers in the sun-engine 
shall ever succeed in giving mechanical expression to but the merest 
fraction of this superabundance, they may safely count upon creating 
as profound a revolution in the world of industry as that which was 
ushered in with the steam-engine. 

Ericsson, who has devoted much study to this enticing problem, 
has announced his unqualified belief that the sun-engine is practicable. 
He has progressed so far as to lay down the general principles on 
which he proposes to construct such a motor, and which he has actu- 
ally put into practice in the production of an engine that runs with 
great uniformity at a speed of 240 revolutions per minute, and con- 
suming at this rate only part of the steam made by the solar generator 
employed. From the very brief and imperfect accounts that have 


been made public, it appears that the Ericsson sun-engine is composed 
of three distinct parts the engine proper, that is, the working mechan- 
ism, the steam-generator, and the concentrating apparatus, by means 
of which last the feeble intensity of the sun's rays is augmented to 
the degree that will suffice to produce steam at a practical working 

He claims that this concentrating apparatus will abstract on the 
average, for all latitudes between 45 north and 45 south, fully 3 
heat-units for every square foot presented vertically to the sun's rays. 
With 100 square feet of surface in his concentrating apparatus, there- 
fore, he believes it will be possible to continuously develop from the 
sun's rays 8*2 horse-power during nine hours within the above-named 
range of latitude. 

Mouchot, who, so far as the practical construction of the solar 
engine is concerned, has progressed further even than Ericsson, exhib- 
ited at the late Exposition at Paris a working sun-engine upon substan- 
tially the same general principle of construction as that above described, 
and which, from its novelty and the importance of the principle it 
illusti*ated, received universal popular attention and a most encouraging 
and flattering report of the judges of awards. 

Not to over-estimate the capabilities of the new system, Ericsson, 
in his consideration of the practical side of the subject, assumes that 
a sun-engine of one horse-power will demand the concentration of heat 
from one hundred square feet; and on this estimate he proceeds to show 
that in all reasonable probability those regions of the earth that now 
suffer from an excess of heat will some day derive such benefits from 
their unlimited command of motive power as to vastly overbalance 
their climatic disadvantages. He proposes the sun-engine only for 
those regions where there is steady sunshine, and has mapped out exten- 
sive tracts of land aggregating no less than 9,000 miles in length and 
1,000 miles in breadth, including therein the southern coast of the Med- 
iterranean, Upper Egypt, much of the Red Sea region, the greater part 
of Persia and Arabia, and portions of China, Thibet, and Mongolia, in 
the Eastern Hemisphere; and Lower California, the Mexican plateau, 
Guatemala, and the west coast of South America for a distance of 2,000 
miles, as the field of the solar empire of the future. As an evidence 
of the sincerity of his belief in the realization of these ideas, let me 
quote you the following enthusiastic passage from one of his numerous 
essays upon this subject: "The time will come," asserts Ericsson, 
" when Europe must stop her mills and factories for want of coal. 
Upper Egypt then, with her never-ceasing sun-power, will invite the 
European manufacturer to remove his machinery and erect his mills 
on the firm ground along the sides of the alluvial plain of the Nile, 
where sufficient power can be obtained to enable him to run more spin- 
dles than a hundred Manchesters." 

For centuries past the wind has been put to work with very good 


results, and in some countries, notably in Holland, quite extensively. 
From the best advices I have upon this topic I have it that there are 
in that country no less than 12,000 windmills, averaging eight horse- 
power each, giving a total of 96,000 horse-power. 

The chief and obvious difficulties that intrude themselves against 
the extensive use of the wind as a motive power for general industrial 
uses are that in most locations it is intermittent in its action, extremely 
variable as to its power, and quite* unreliable as to the time and dura- 
tion of its manifestations. 

The immense power stored up in this unfortunately unreliable agent 
will appear from the statement that a wind of three miles per hour 
travels 4*40 feet per second, and exerts a pressure of 0*32 to 0*44 pound 
per square foot of surface opposed to its action. A wind of twenty- 
five miles an hour, or what sailors would call a good stiff breeze, trav- 
els 39*67 feet per second, and exerts a pressure of from 2'208 to 3*075 
pounds per square foot. The prodigious energy of a hurricane, trav- 
eling not infrequently at the rate of one hundred miles' per hour, is 
too well known by its disastrous effects to need repetition. The power 
of the wind, however, save for ship-propulsion, is utilized in but few 
situations, its unreliability having caused it to be but very slightly 
esteemed in comparison with water-power and steam. Of late, how- 
ever, small windmills, especially designed with superior mechanical 
skill, have been rapidly growing in popularity in this country, mainly 
for pumping water for railway and domestic purposes, an application 
for which these devices are excellently adapted; and I entertain no 
doubt that there are many situations where work is to be done that 
does not demand a continuous exercise of power, and where the prime 
consideration to be observed is the element of cheapness, where wind- 
power might be most advantageously employed. There are, again, 
extensive regions of the earth, extending for ten or more degrees north 
and south of the equator, where the winds blow continuously from 
one direction throughout the greater portion of the year I need hardly 
remind you that I refer to the region of the " trade-winds," and in 
which, especially along the coast-line where their influence is not dis- 
turbed by mountain ranges and other conflicting causes, the force of 
the wind may be relied upon with almost absolute certainty for the 
whole or the greater portion of the year. In such regions, therefore, 
Nature has supplied us with an exhaustless store of energy, capable of 
meeting the most extravagant demands that may be made upon it. 
Even the region of the temperate zones, where the winds are variable, 
our seashores have their strong- land- and sea-breezes which for nine 
days out of ten may be relied upon; and even in situations where wind- 
power is most unreliable, as in the interior of the continents, there is a 
vast and valuable field open for some practical and generally applicable 
system by which the power of the wind, at present almost universally 
allowed to go to waste, may be stored up to be given out again as it 


may be required for service; for it may be made to coil a spring, to 
raise heavy weights, or lift water into elevated reservoirs, or, by other 
simple devices well known to the mechanical engineer, to store up its 
power, which may be subsequently given out through machines espe- 
cially adapted for the purpose. 

The tides ebbing and flowing twice daily, lifting upon their bosom, 
like so many corks, the heaviest vessels, and baffling all efforts to re- 
strain their resistless force, afford us another instructive topic for 
consideration in treating of the wasted forces of Nature for here, 
again, she has lavished out of her superabundance infinitely more 
power than any conceivable increase of the needs and industries of 
man could ever employ. 

The rise and fall of the tides vary, according to local conditions, 
from a few inches, as in the Mediterranean Sea, to seventy feet, as in 
the Bay of Fundy, and their force in almost any one of our rivers 
would, if properly applied, suffice to furnish ample power to all the 
mills and factories and workshops that could be built side by side 
upon their banks. They would drive under-shot wheels unfailingly. 
Where there are extensive meadows regularly overflowed, as they 
commonly exist along all of our larger streams, a levee containing 
two sluices, each supplied with a turbine water-wheel, one to be driven 
by the ebb and the other by the flow, could be made to utilize incal- 
culable power. 

In some exceptionally favorable localities, where the conditions have 
forced themselves upon the attention of observing and practical men, 
tide-motors have been introduced, and with great advantage; but the 
general utilization of these exhaustless and continuous stores of energy 
still remains to be accomplished. 

Great rivers above tide-water are rolling down a wealth of power 
in their currents ; and a hundred factories along their banks, heedless 
of the fact, are using steam-power. And it is one of the standing 
marvels that manufacturers fail to recognize the elementary fact in 
mechanics, that it is not necessary for a stream to have from ten to 
two hundred feet of fall, in order to do their work ; while the great 
rivers upon whose banks their workshops are perched are permitted 
heedlessly to pour out trillions of cubic feet of water, year after year, 
into the ocean, opposing no mechanical difficulties in the way of yield- 
ing up their inexhaustible supplies of power. 

Who may estimate the wealth of power poured out in unheeded 
profusion by our great waterfalls from Niagara down? Confining 
our attention to the one grand cataract, try to conceive of two mil- 
lion tons of water per minute hurled down that ledge of rock, rep- 
resenting 50,000 horse-power expended every minute in the work of 
disintegrating and undermining the rocky river-bed below. A few 
tiny paddles, I am told, dip into the current above the falls, and drive 
a paper-mill, but what of the millions of horse-power that are allowed 


to rim heedlessly to waste down that great fall of 157 feet, in a sheet 
twenty feet thick and 4,750 feet broad ? 

The gas-wells of the oil regions have been permitted to spout away 
wealth enough to have repaid a hundred-fold all the money ever lost 
in oil speculations ; but it is gratifying to be able to say that the great 
value of these natural supplies of heat and light is now very generally 
recognized, and that in many localities the gas is turned to useful ac- 
count in supplying light and heat to towns and cities and factories and 

In some of the cases that I have called to your attention, the power 
is steady and unremitting, in others it is too violent or too uncertain 
for direct application. In the first instance, uses for the power may 
be found at once ; in the last, means for storing it up must be pro- 
vided, and would, beyond question, abundantly repay the undertaking. 
For this purpose, the raising of weights or of water into elevated 
reservoirs, and the compressing of air, afford two simple and ready 
means of storing up power to be let loose as required ; while other 
means of a mechanical nature to accomplish the same purpose will 
readily occur to my mechanical hearers. 

While upon this point, I must not omit to state one fact of the 
greatest interest that is now attracting the attention of some of the 
highest living authorities. I refer to the question of the practicabil- 
ity of transmitting mechanical power to great distances by converting 
it into electricity, through the agency of what are called dynamo-elec- 
tric machines, and utilizing this either for the production of powerful 
lights for illuminating cities and towns, or by converting it back again 
into mechanical power with the aid of magneto-electric engines, by 
which mills, factories, and workshops may be furnished with the 
power they now obtain from steam or water. It will be very d jyropos, 
in this connection, to notice that the feasibility of transmitting to great 
distances the almost incredible power of Niagara Falls, by some such 
means as that above named, has been affirmed by many scientific in- 
vestigators of eminence. 

Dr. C. W. Siemens, in his presidential address before the last meet- 
ing of the Iron and Steel Institute, in touching upon the highly inter- 
esting subject of the employment of electricity as a substitute for 
steam, made the following instructive statements : He declared that 
so long as the source of electrical power depended upon the galvanic 
battery, it must, in the present state of things, remain far more expen- 
sive than steam-power, for the obvious reason that zinc, which is the 
fuel of the galvanic battery, is vastly more expensive than coal, the 
fuel of the steam-boiler. If, however, continues Dr. Siemens, a natural 
force, such as water-power, mark you, could be utilized to generate 
electricity economically, the case would be very different. A dynamo- 
electric machine actuated by water-power could be made to generate 
powerful electrical currents, which could be transmitted through insu- 


lated metallic wires or cables to a great distance with but little loss, 
comparatively speaking, and could thus be made to run magneto-elec- 
tric engines to do the work of steam in our mills and workshops, to 
ignite electric lamps, etc. A copper rod, or cable, three inches in 
diameter, says Dr. Siemens, would be capable of transmitting a thou- 
sand horse-power to a distance of say thirty miles an amount suffi- 
cient to give the light of a quarter million of candles, and suffice to 
illuminate a town of moderate size. Two eminent American investi- 
gators, Professors Houston and Thomson, of Philadelphia, having just 
made an investigation with the especial purpose of determining the 
practicability of transmitting the power of Niagara to great distances 
by means of electricity, go even further than Dr. Siemens. They 
make the astonishing assertion and, what is more, they prove it that 
it would be possible, should it prove to be desirable, to convey the 
whole power of Niagara to the distance of 500 miles or more by means 
of a copper cable not exceeding a half inch in thickness. 

It is unnecessary for me to multiply examples upon this fruitful 
theme of speculation, for the time admonishes me that I have already 
trespassed sufficiently upon your attention, and I think I have con- 
vinced you very fully that such queries as "What shall we do when our 
coal-fields are exhausted ? need cause us no anxiety, for centuries be- 
fore this possibility shall be realized, I opine, the world will no longer 
stand in need of them. 



Bt Professor J. S. NEWBERRY. 

THE geological survey of the country bordering the fortieth par- 
allel of latitude was made under the direction of the War De- 
partment by a party under Mr. Clarence King, who took the field in 
1867. The area covered by the survey was a belt one hundred miles 
wide, traversed by the Pacific Railroad between the Great Plains on 
the east and the Sierra Nevada on the west, approximately between 
the 104th and 120th meridians of longitude. The general object of 
the survey was to connect the region of which the geological structure 
has been made known through the California survey on the west with 
the explored portion of the Mississippi Yalley, and thus to supply the 
material for completing a section across the continent. In addition to 
this it was proposed to determine by careful investigation the structure 
and resources of the country lying adjacent to the Pacific Railroad, 
which by the construction of this great work was opened to occupa- 
tion, and was already invaded by a population eager to seize and de- 
velop its hidden stores of mineral wealth. 


Mr. King chose as his geological assistants the brothers J. D. and 
Arnold Hague, and S. F. Emmons, all of whom had received good 
training in the geological survey of California, and proved competent 
and congenial co-laborers with him. Specialists were also engaged to 
study the materials collected in other departments of natural science ; 
the fossils being placed in the hands of Mr. F. B. Meek, and, after his 
death, in those of Professor James Hall and Mr. R. P. Whitfield. The 
botanist of the survey was Mr. Sereno Watson, and the ornithologist 
Mr. Robert Ridgway, while a special investigation of the volcanic 
rocks collected was made by Professor Ferdinand Zirkel, the distin- 
guished lithologist of Leipsic. The topographical work of the survey 
was, during the greater part of its continuance, in charge of Mr. J. T. 
Gardner, now director of the Topographical Survey of the State of 
New York. 

The report of the " Survey of the Fortieth Parallel," as now pub- 
lished, consists of six volumes quarto. Of these the first issued (1870) 
was Vol. III. of the series, entitled " Mining Industry," and devoted 
to a description and discussion of the important mines and mining dis- 
tricts embraced in the territory studied. About half of the volume is 
taken up with a detailed description of the Comstock lode the most 
productive deposit of gold and silver yet discovered and of the 
methods of exploitation followed in the different mines located upon 
it, by Mr. King and J. D. Hague. It also contains chapters by Mr. 
Arnold Hague on the " Chemistry of the Washoe Silver Process," and 
on the " Geology of the White Pine Mining District " ; the " Geology 
of the Toyabe Range," by S. F. Emmons ; and on the " Geological 
Distribution of Mining Districts," and the " Green River Coal Basin," 
by Mr. King. This volume is accompanied by an atlas of maps, plans, 
and sections, which at the time of its appearance was by far the most 
beautiful work of its kind published in this country. 

It is greatly to be regretted that the review of the mining industry 
of the country bordering the Pacific Railroad, so admirably begun in 
this volume, could not have been continued through the life of the 
survey, and have been presented to the public at its close. Since the 
publication of this discussion of the Comstock lode, the most important 
chapters in its history have been enacted, and it is a pity they should 
not also have been written. When Mr. King closed his examination 
the workings had reached a depth of a little more than 1,000 feet, and 
the maximum temperature, (of water at bottom) was about 108 Fahr.; 
and now the depth of 2,500 feet has been reached, tbe temperature of 
the water at the bottom is 160, and facts have been obtained which 
indicate that the limits of the successful working of the lode will be 
determined by temperature and these limits soon be reached. 

The Sutro Tunnel has also been constructed and all its geological 
revelations made since the appearance of Vol. HI. The great bubbles 
of the White Pine and the Emma mines have since swollen and burst, 


and the important litigation between the Eureka and Richmond has 
been decided on geological grounds ; and yet the public has nowhere 
received the information which it craves as to how it has happened 
that so many millions have been made from the Comstock mines (by 
their managers), and so many lost in the White Pine and Emma. The 
great bonanzas of the California and Consolidated Virginia have no- 
where been fully described. A few geologists know that they are 
simply disconnected patches of rich ore, such as lie in most fissure 
veins ; but the public at large have either no ideas at all about them, 
or those that are wide of the truth. So we may seai'ch in vain through 
all mining literature for the simple explanation of the problem involved 
in the Eureka litigation, and in the ephemeral productiveness of the 
White Pine and Emma, viz., that these mineral deposits are chambers 
or galleries formed in limestone beds by atmospheric water carrying 
carbonic acid, and subsequently occupied with ore deposited from as- 
cending solutions which filled these cavities, just as elsewhere the sim- 
ple crevices of fissure veins. 

If any one can imagine the lead-bearing limestones of Missouri or 
the honeycombed plateau of central Kentucky broken up by volcanic 
action, the strata set at high angles, and their irregular cavities filled 
with mineral solutions issuing through fissures from below, he will get 
a just view of the nature and origin of these mysterious ore deposits, 
and a ready explanation of their irregular and superficial character. 

If Mr. King could have continued his observations on the Com- 
stock, and had investigated all the mineral deposits discovered along 
this rich belt, so freely opened by the active exploitation of the last ten 
years, in the same thorough way that he did the Comstock, he would 
have made a contribution to American geological literature which 
would have been of great scientific interest, and of a pecuniary value 
to mine-owners and mine-buyers to be reckoned in millions. 

Vol. V. made its appearance in 1871 ; it was devoted to Botany, 
and was prepared by Mr. Sereno Watson, with the assistance of a num- 
ber of our best botanists, who have made special studies of particular 
families of plants ; as Engelmann of the Cactacece, Eaton of the Ferns, 
Tuckerman of the Lichens, etc. Vol. VI., on Microscopic Petrography, 
by Professor Ferdinand Zirkel, was published in 1876 ; Vol. IV., on 
Paleontology and Ornithology, in 1877 ; Vol. II., which embraces de- 
tailed reports by Messrs. Arnold Hague and S. F. Emmons, on the 
local geology of the belt of territory surveyed, also appeared in the 
same year ; and, finally, Vol. I., written by Mr. King himself, forming 
a comprehensive review of the systematic geology of the country cov- 
ered by his explorations, has only just now left the binder's hands. 

The magnificent geological atlas intended to accompany and illus- 
trate the reports of the " Survey of the Fortieth Parallel " was issued 
in 1876. This will compare favorably with any work of its kind done 
in the Old World, and at the time of its publication it far excelled 


anything which had before been attempted in this country. To the 
good taste and the technical skill of Mr. Julius Bien, of New York, 
Mr. King is largely indebted for the beauty and accuracy of this atlas ; 
and it may be a matter of general congratulation among American 
geologists that it was then demonstrated that the cartographic art had 
been carried to as great perfection here as anywhere else in the world, 
and that all known refinements of graphic illustration are within their 

All the volumes of the " Report of the Fortieth Parallel Survey," 
except Vol. I., have been more or less thoroughly reviewed in the sci- 
entific journals, and it is therefore unnecessary that they should receive 
further notice here. It is but just, however, to say of the general char- 
acter of the report of Mr. King, now for the first time collectively ex- 
hibited, that it takes high rank in the literature of the subjects which 
it considers, and is most creditable to the chief under whose direction 
the work here recorded was executed, and to his assistants, both for 
the great amount and excellent quality of that work, and from the 
good taste and care which the volumes and maps display. 

Perhaps no other geologist has enjoyed the opportunity of direct- 
ing the exploration of so wide and interesting a field, has been so inde- 
pendent and untrammeled in his action, and has had such resources 
at his command as Mr. King ; and something of his success should be 
ascribed to his good fortune. Yet it is true that he has made excellent 
use of his exceptional opportunities, and the result can not in justice 
but be regarded as alike honorable to him, to the War Department 
under whose auspices the survey was made, and to the country. 

In the volume just issued Mr. King has discussed the exposures of 
all the different systems of rocks which form the geological column, 
beginning with the Archaean and ending with the Quaternary. He 
then takes up the volcanic rocks, of which there is such an immense 
display in the western part of his field, and discusses their relations, 
succession, and classification. His last chapter is devoted to orog- 
raphy, and is a study of the different and very numerous mountain 
chains and axes of elevation which occupy so much of the region he 
has studied. In the progress of this review he has not only made great 
and important additions to what was before known of the distribution 
and development of the different geological formations throughout the 
West, but has subjected each group of rocks and each important topo- 
graphical feature to close and careful study, with the view of evolving 
from its ascertained structure the details of its history. In these in- 
vestigations he has touched upon some of the most profound problems 
that have engaged the attention of geologists and physicists ; and 
while we can not assert, and he will hardly claim, that all the conclu- 
sions he has reached will be confirmed by further observation and 
mathematical analysis for all human work is imperfect yet it can 
not be denied that the facts he has reported and the inductions he has 

VOL. XV. 20 


proposed will have an important influence on the progress of geology, 
especially in this country. 

The publication of Mr. King's volume certainly throws a flood of 
light on the complicated and hitherto somewhat chaotic geology of 
our Western Territories, and it can not fail to afford important aid in 
the proper orientation of both observers and observations in all the 
great region west of the Mississippi. 

It is evident that nothing like a thorough discussion of the facts 
and conclusions contained in Mr. King's great volume of eight hun- 
dred quarto pages can be given here ; but some of the most important 
of his facts, and the more interesting of his generalizations, will be 
briefly noticed in the succeeding pages. 

Archaean. By this term, which he accepts from Dana, Mr. King 
designates all the great mass of crystalline schists and granitoid rocks 
which underlie the Cambrian system, and form the base of his grand 
section. These are most fully exposed in the Park and Medicine Bow 
Ranges of Colorado and Wyoming, and in the Humboldt and Truckee 
Mountains of Nevada ; but there are also numerous minor ranges and 
summits composed of granitoid rocks, especially west of Salt Lake ; 
and Mr. King shows that these latter exposures are portions of a broad 
pre-Cambrian land-surface which formed the western border of a great 
topographical basin that reached to the Rocky Mountains on the east. 
This basin was occupied by the seas from which were deposited the 
Palaeozoic rocks. These latter wei'e largely derived from the erosion 
of the neighboring land on the west, and formed a conformable series, 
of which the estimated thickness is over 30,000 feet. The old land 
which supplied the mechanical material of the Palaeozoic strata ex- 
tended to an unknown distance northward, and reached southward at 
least to the present head of the Gulf of California, in a region where 
it was recognized by the writer, and its relations to the Palaeozoic 
series of the Colorado plateau pointed out in the " Report of the 
Colorado Exploration," 1861. 

Mr. King divides the Archaean rocks into two great groups, of 
which the first consists at base of gray or flesh-colored bedded granite, 
overlain by red, massive granite, on which lie red, micaceous, bedded 
granites, the whole attaining a thickness of perhaps 25,000 feet. This 
group is characterized by the presence of quartz, orthoclase, and oligo- 
clase feldspars, with a little hornblende and mica, the latter consisting 
of biotite, muscovite, and lepidomelane. It also contains more or less 
labradorite, titaniferous iron, magnetite, and graphite, the whole cor- 
responding closely with the Laurentian of Canada. 

The upper subdivision of Archaean rocks found in the Medicine 
Bow and Park Ranges, the Uintah, Wahsatch, Humboldt Mountains, 
etc. consists of true gneisses, interstratified with mica schists, often 
garnetiferous, hornblende schist, sometimes with zircon, etc., all very 
distinctly, often minutely stratified. The thickness of this group is in 


the Wahsatch and Humboldt Mountains, from 12,000 to 14,000 feet, in 
the Park and Medicine Bow Ranges somewhat less, and in the Clear 
Creek region of Colorado at least 25,000 feet. This upper group will 
be recognized by geologists as closely resembling the Huronian rocks 
of the East. The Archaean nucleus of the Black Hills was reported 
by the late Mr. Henry Newton to be composed of two groups of crys- 
talline rocks closely resembling those described by Mr. King, and Mr. 
George M. Dawson found a similar double series in Manitoba and 
British Columbia. Without absolute proof which it would be dif- 
ficult if not impossible to obtain the inference is at least allowable 
that the rocks underlying the Palaeozoic series in the far West cor- 
respond to the Laurentian and Huronian Groups of the Canadian ge- 
ologists, and therefore that the foundation of the western half of the 
continent is essentially the same with that of the eastern ; and also 
that there, as here, a broad continental surface of these older rocks