IT was a hundred years ago, in the salon of the Grand-Val, after dinner. Here was assembled that fastidious company of wits as well known to us through the letters of Diderot to Mademoiselle Voland as though we, too, had been guests under Holbach’s roof.
BIOLOGICAL METHODS APPLICABLE TO SOCIOLOGY.—We have thus shown the use in sociology of the ideas and doctrines characteristic of biology. We have shown that they are applicable, but with some limitations and modifications imposed by the presence of a nature higher than the animal.
THE CRYSTALLIZATION OF GOLD, SILVER, AND OTHER METALS.
THOMAS J. GEEGAN.
THERE are few chemical experiments so well known as the growth of the "lead-tree" and "silver-tree." These carry our minds back to the times of the alchemists, who called the first "Arbor Saturni," and the second "Arbor Dianæ," and they may be looked upon as the type of a large number of phenomena in which the salt of one metal in solution is decomposed by some other metal.
HERBERT SPENCER BEFORE THE ENGLISH COPYRIGHT COMMISSION.
QUESTION (Chairman). I will ask you if you have any explanations you wish to offer on any point connected with the evidence which you gave on the last occasion ? Answer. Yes; I have to rectify some misapprehensions. From the restatement made by Mr. Farrar, it would appear that, in discussing the question of profits from republication of one of my works, I said I had “ found that no other publisher would undertake the work without an additional profit of ten per cent,,” which implies that I had endeavored to obtain another publisher.
PROFESSOR ALPHONSE FAVRE, of Geneva, has been making an interesting series of experiments to illustrate the formation of the great inequalities of the earth’s surface by means of lateral thrust or crushing. These he describes and illustrates in a recent number of “ La Nature,” to which we are indebted for the illustrations which accompany this article.
THE study of celestial phenomena which represent changes of the greatest magnitude is an important source of intelligence respecting the course of creation and the diversified condition of the universe. In all well-directed efforts to explore the more profound secrets of space and of time, it is necessary to be guided by certain conspicuous marks which even unseen planets may leave behind them, on assuming new forms or in closing an inconceivably long term of existence.
THERE has ever lain a strange fascination, for culture and ignorance alike, in the attempt to diagnose the intellect and character of man from the outward manifestations of his face and skull. The problem of character and its interpretation is as old as Plato, and may probably be shown to be more ancient still.
BY backgammon we usually mean one particular game played with dice and thirty draughts, on a board with twelve points on each side. But this is only one of a family of games, whose general definition is that they consist in moving pieces on a diagram, not at the player’s free choice, as in draught-playing, but conformably to the throws of lots or dice.
THE acari constitute a large order of minute animals, including mites, ticks, itch insects, etc., with which, in some of their forms, every one is more or less familiar, though, owing to their small size and obscure ways of living, but little is known of their structure and habits.
ON the 4th of September, 1876, Otto Schmidt, an industrious and thrifty German, reached his home after an absence of a week at the Centennial Fair at Philadelphia. How and where he lodged, and what he ate, during the five days he was at that city, we have no means of knowing, for, by the time he had exhausted the marvels of the exhibition in his voluble German tongue, he had lost all idea of unity of place, and was wandering mentally amid the busy wonders of Machinery Hall.
ELISHA GRAY, the inventor of the Speaking Telephone, was born at Barnesville, Belmont County, Ohio, August 2, 1835. During his boyhood he was profoundly interested in all the phenomena of nature, and had an intense desire, whenever he saw any manifestation of physical force, to become acquainted with the secret of its operation.
GENTLEMEN: In your December number, under the heading “ Editor’s Table,” you Socratically repeat the statement that Dr. Lardner declared that steam-navigation across the Atlantic was impracticable. This statement you will find on examination to be incorrect; and, as I consider that your publication is well adapted to make known the facts in the case, I transmit them to you, in the hope that you will publish them, and so contribute to their becoming generally known.
THE recent fluttering among American publishers caused by the discovery that Canadian enterprise threatens to come into successful rivalry with them, even in their own home market, is sufficiently amusing. The violation of the rights of foreign authors has been hitherto excused on the ground that it was necessary to the promotion of American popular education and indispensable to the intelligence of the country.
THIS is a suggestive work on the philosophy of American politics, made up of two parts logically related but very dissimilar in character. The first half of the book is devoted to an examination of the tendencies of our political system, which are arraigned as, in their working, a disappointment and a failure.
Reorganization of the Government Surveys.—We have already briefly stated the conclusions reached by the Committee of the National Academy of Sciences, appointed to consider what changes might be desired in the method of conducting the surveys of the Territories.
IN the death of George Henry Lewes, which occurred in London, December 1st, the more serious literature of England lost one of its best representatives. Mr. Lewes possessed a very remarkable degree of native intellectual power, and this gift of nature he appears to have turned to the best account by stern self-discipline and assiduous and well-regulated study.