BY far the greatest advantage is that on which I observed before —that to which I drew all the attention I was able by making the first of these essays an essay on the Preliminary Age. The first thing to acquire is, if I may so express it, the legal fibre ; a polity first—what sort of polity is immaterial ; a law first—what kind of law is secondary ; a person or set of persons to pay deference to—though who he is, or they are, by comparison scarcely signifies.
SAILORS from South America occasionally, among other pets, bring a small animal, which, because of its long nose, they invariably call an Ant-eater. Thus was a little stranger introduced to our care a few years ago. A glance was enough to see that it was·no ant-eater at all, but a pretty female Coati-Mondi.
THE science of the weather may be said to have sprung up within the last half century, and. we must not therefore wonder that, until very recently, meteorological science has rather been concerned with the weather as it has been, than in prophesying what kind of weather may be expected.
IN an age like ours, when philosophical criticism, applied to all ideas, has dissipated most of the fictitious charms lent to existence by the imagination of mankind—when the advance of science leads us more and more to look on the world as it is—when, no longer able to find consolation in creeds and myths, we grow more closely and constantly familiar with inflexible reality, there is no reason for surprise if, in the moment of reaction from the illusions of the past, certain spirits, unable to keep the golden mean, permit themselves to be led captive by exaggerations of quite another kind, and, taking the leap over realism, fall into a pessimism which shows things to them, no longer such as they are, with the impress of facts, hard and brutal enough already, upon them, but even more sad and evil than the reality.
THE influence of grief or fright in blanching the hair has been generally recognized. " For deadly fear can Time outgo, And blanch at once the hair."—MARMION. It has been a popular rather than a physiological belief that this can occur "in a single night." No one doubts that the hair may turn gray, gradually, from moral causes, and this is sufficient proof of the mind's influence upon the nutrition of the hair.
COTTON owes its kingship quite as much to the tenacity with which its fibres adhere to one another, as to their length or fineness ; and were it not that the fibre produced by the bombax, or silkcotton tree, is too smooth, cotton would find in it a powerful rival.
IN speaking of the physiological position of tobacco, we have to deal with the action of the essential principles of that plant upon the human system. The peculiar effects of tobacco are due to the action of the essential oil of tobacco in the case of chewing and snuffing, and to that combined with the empyreumatic oil in smoking.
I WANT, in the next place, to consider what we mean when we say that the uniformity which we have observed in the course of events is reasonable as well as exact. No doubt the first form of this idea was suggested by the marvellous adaptation of certain natural structures to special functions.
THE royal Psalmist said, " The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handy work." The modern Huxleys respond : " The heavens declare nothing at all, and the firmament is ultimately but eternal protoplasm." In this happy and hopeful response the materialists are as much traitors to science as enemies to religion.
IF the question were asked, " Which side of the heart is the more frequently affected by disease ? " the answer, in perhaps nine cases out of ten, would be, the left. This answer would not, however, embrace the whole truth. It would be true of the aggregate of cases of cardiac disease without reference to age ; but it would be untrue if the occurrence of cardiac disease were referred to the later periods of life.
FRUIT has become a necessary of life—a great variety of fruit indeed, and a great deal of it ; and this will become more and more the case with the increase of intelligence and thrift. The great abundance of most kinds of fruit for the last two or three years may cause us to feel a security, which is not well grounded, with regard to the conditions of climate necessary to the unfailing production of fruit.
THERE are few subjects less satisfactorily treated in scientific treatises than that which Humboldt calls the Reaction of the Earth's Interior. We find, not merely in the configuration of the earth's crust, but in actual and very remarkable phenomena, evidence of subterranean forces of great activity, and the problems suggested seem in no sense impracticable, yet no theory of the earth's volcanic energy has yet gained general acceptance.
THE belief that great fires are followed invariably by rain-storms is wide-spread, and the great fires of the present year in America, it is claimed, afford no exception to the law. The attitude of scientific men in regard to so-called popular fallacies and superstitions is not, in general, a praiseworthy one.
THAT the expectation, of pleasure and profit from the course of lectures which Prof. Tyndall has prepared for delivery in this country is not likely to be disappointed, will appear from the following careful analysis of his theme, Light and Heat, as he has arranged it for six nights : He begins in a prefatory way, and dwells upon the introduction of the experimental method into Science—speaks of the ardor of investigators and of their rewards.
COASTING along Ceylon and the Malabar littoral, the voyager will notice the tall palm-trees, which appear as if growing in the sea, and will learn, on inquiry, that they are of the variety Cocos nucifera, or the loving cocoa-nut tree. Though the sight of these never-ending groves may at length pall upon the eye of the traveller, yet he will do wisely if at eventide, while the ship is becalmed, he should take the "jolly" boat and land on the silent beach.
IN studying the history of insanity, we are surprised to find that the same mild treatment now universally adopted was very clearly prescribed by the chief professors of medical science in the beginning of our era. Thus, Aretæus the Cappadocian recommends the use only of the supplest cords, to restrain violent maniacs, " for," says he, " to resort to any cruel measures of restraint will increase rather than allay the over-excitement." Galen was the first to maintain that all disorders of the mental faculties are produced by a lesion of the organs of thought, which are situate in the brain.
FROM time to time, during the last three years, I have brought before the readers of this magazine the various arguments and considerations on which I have based certain new views respecting the constitution of the sidereal universe. In so doing I have had occasion to deal chiefly with facts already known, though not hitherto viewed in that particular light in which I sought to place them.
HISTORY points out marked differences between Herculaneum and Pompeii. The first, settled by the Greeks, was devoted to intellectual culture and refined leisure ; the latter, of Oscan origin, concerned itself solely about commerce ; one was inhabited by Romans of fortune, and loaded with favors ; the other endured the hostility of Rome, and often incurred her chastisement.
WE furnish our readers this month with an excellent likeness of the venerable President of the Royal Society, England, who will have a permanent and distinguished place in the history of science through his researches on terrestrial magnetism, of which he may be regarded as the pioneer explorer.
THAT man, as an individual, exemplifies the action of law in the various parts of his nature, and is hence the subject of science, everybody now understands: but that men collectively, or in social relations, are governed by natural laws which are capable of scientific investigation, is only beginning to be seen and admitted.
A HANDBOOK OF CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY, by RUDOLF 'WAGNER, Ph. D., Professor of Chemical Technology at the University of Wurtzburg. Translated and edited from the eighth German edition, with Extensive Additions, by WM. CROOKES, F. R. S. TECHNOLOGY is the term now generally applied to the applications of the principles of science to the arts of industry.
Facts relating to Niagara.—We have received a letter stating that the article on Niagara Falls, which was published in the September MONTHLY, contains various inacuracies, the following being the most important. The author of the article states that a barrier fifteen feet high, stretching across the plateau at the head of the rapids, would throw the water back on Lake Erie.
NON-INFLAMMABLE Fabrics.—Cotton or linen goods may be rendered non-inflammable by being dipped in a solution of equal parts of acetate of lime and chloride of calcium dissolved in twice their weight of water. PAPER Lamp-Shades.—Dr.