COMPREHENSION of the thoughts generated in the primitive man by his converse with the surrounding world can be had only by looking at the surrounding world from his stand-point. The accumulated knowledge and the mental habits slowly acquired during education must be suppressed, and we must divest ourselves of conceptions which, partly by inheritance and partly by individual culture, have been rendered necessary.
IN consequence of the incredible stories anciently told of the chameleon, one is hardly disposed to regard that animal as a reality; it appears to find its proper place in mythology rather than in natural history—among fabled dragons, centaurs, and griffins, rather than among the actualities of the animal kingdom.
THE English Astronomer Royal has in his possession a very curious collection of papers, including letters that have been addressed to him by persons of every condition, in which they ask his price for casting a horoscope. In spite of such simplicity, England is one of the countries where the taste for practical astronomy is very widely diffused, and also the one where the greatest number of public and private observatories is found.
THE cloud produced by the puff of a locomotive can quench the rays of the noonday sun; it is not therefore surprising that in dense fogs our most powerful coast-lights, including even the electric light, should become useless to the mariner.
SO long as the mind was regarded as something separated from the body, or only united to it by feeble ties, bodily conditions could have nothing to do with mental phenomena—insanity was a disease of the soul. The monk, standing over a miserable lunatic chained to a staple in the wall, and flogging him in order to make him cast his devil out, was a logical outcome of this hypothesis.
IN the chimney-corner by the kitchen-fire stood a quaint stone jar that every winter morning bubbled over with the light, gray foam of buckwheat-cakes. While our “ mouths watered,” our minds wondered—wondered at the magic by which so many cakes were made out of so little flour.
IN the beginning of 1846, a year memorable in the history of tableturning and spirit-rapping, Angélique Cottin was a girl of fourteen, living in the village of Bouvigny, near La Perrière, department of Orne, France. She was of low stature, but of robust frame, and apathetic to an extraordinary degree both in body and mind.
OCTOBER l, 1S59, the date of the publication of the “ Origin of Species,” will hereafter be reckoned as the commencement of a new era in the history of biology. It marks the hegira of Science from the idolatries of special creation to the purer faith of evolution.
PIO NONO has recently given to the world his infallible opinion concerning Tyndall and other modern scientists. To his apprehension they are “ spiritual pirates, seeking to destroy the souls of men,” and he undoubtedly has great faith in that high legal authority which says, “ Pirates all nations are to prosecute.”
ANXIOUS as all who take an interest in social speculation cannot fail to be for the completion of Mr. Spencer’s forthcoming work on the “Principles of Sociology,” they will scarcely regret that he should have allowed himself to be drawn aside for a time from his principal occupation in order to compose the present volume.
THOSE who are familiar with the growing literature of psychological medicine during the last quarter of a century will remember the appearance of various papers remarkable for literary brilliancy and expressive of the most advanced opinion which appeared, nearly twenty years ago, in the English periodicals devoted to this subject, and written by Dr. Henry Maudsley.
THE FUTURE RELATIONS OF THE SEXES. To the Editor of the Popular Science Monthly : IN the article on “ Woman’s Place in Nature,” which appeared in the January number of THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY, some applications of the general principles enunciated were omitted for the sake of brevity, and, deeming them important, I send them for publication, in continuation of that argument.
IN an elaborate article contributed to the January Fortnightly Review, Prof. Cairnes has attacked the social philosophy of Herbert Spencer. The paper is too long to be wholly transferred to our pages, and so we reprint the first half; but that, it happens, is the most important part, and a little examination of its quality will show that not much has been lost by omitting the remainder.
REPORT OF TIIE CHICAGO RELIEF AND AID SOCIETY OF DISBURSEMENT OF CONTRIBUTIONS FOR THE SUFFERENS BY THE CHICAGO FIRE. Printed for the Chicago Relief and Aid Society, at the Riverside Press, 1874. THIS volume is one of unique and remarkable interest, founded on one of the most terrible tragedies in all history.
The Cause of “ Cold Snaps.”—In a paper read before the American Academy of Science, Prof. Loomis offered a new theory to account for sudden falls of temperature, or “ cold snaps,” as they are called. The usual mode of accounting for these is by supposing that a current of cold air sets in from the north.
To determine the real value of the 44 disease-proof potatoes ” advertised by seedsmen, the Royal Agricultural Society of England, some time since, offered a prize of £100 for a really disease-proof potato. The conditions were that the potatoes should be tried in twenty different parts of the kingdom for three years.