I PROPOSE to review the life and character of John Stuart Mill. In addition to what all the world may know, I am aided by personal recollections extending over the second half of his life, and by documents in the possession of his family for some of the earlier portions.
A GOOD deal of noise was made a few months ago about a discovery that an American astronomer believed he had made during the recent solar eclipse of July 29, 1878. At the moment of totality, while the bright disk of the sun was completely hidden by the black disk of the moon, and after the eye had become habituated to this sudden darkness, the American astronomer made a search to find whether there might not be, in the vicinity of the sun, a planet answering to the theoretical planet Vulcan, whose existence was announced by Leverrier after he had mathematically analyzed the motion of Mercury.
"MAN is what he eats” (Der Mensch ist was er isst) is a German proverb, the propriety of which may be chiefly alliterative, though the apothegm of our greatest English physician goes even further: “If we could solve the problem of diet,” Dr.
MANY persons of culture and poetic imagination, with a keen sense of the beautiful, but with little knowledge of living nature, believe and maintain, and in one sense justly, that certain works of old and modern masters are works of high art, from color, grouping, elegance of figures, and the various accessories which, in themselves, or by ideas and emotions excited by them, make painting and sculpture very powerful agents in instructing and elevating mankind.
IMMEDIATELY north of Australia, and separated from it at Torres Straits by less than a hundred miles of sea, is the largest island on the globe—New Guinea, a country of surpassing interest, whether as regards its natural productions or its human inhabitants, but which remains to this day less known than any accessible portion of the earth’s surface.
IN experimenting with living human beings, deception, whether voluntary or involuntary, can only be scientifically met by deception; it must be beaten with its own weapons. No experiment of this kind in which the results depend in any way on the honesty of the subjects experimented on can be of any value in science; and those who assume that, because the subjects of these experiments are members of great churches, and move in high society, they are therefore incapable of untruth, would do well to resign the task of investigations of this sort to those who are better endowed with the scientific sense.
DURING the second session of the Forty-fifth Congress, a great amount of evidence bearing on the question whether or not it would be wise to introduce the metric system into the United States was brought forward. This evidence is given in reports, etc.
THERE lies before every man by day and by night, at home and abroad, an immense field for curious investigations in the operations of his own mind. No one can have a just idea, before he has carefully experimented upon himself, of the crowd of unheeded half-thoughts and faint imagery that flits through his brain, and of the influence they exert upon his conscious life.
THAT all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy is one of those common sayings which we seem bound to accept, whether we like it or not. It is a truthful saying and an untruthful, a wise saying and an unwise, according as one word in it is interpreted, and that word is play.
QUATERNARY MAN.—The man of geological time—fossil man—is now a fact so clearly demonstrated that it is no longer called in question. The recent exposition of anthropological sciences showed us his works plentifully scattered throughout France, England, Spain, and Italy.
EARLY last year a paragraph went the round of the papers to the effect that a large female anaconda-snake, in the reptile-house at the Zoölogical Gardens, after a fast of a twelvemonth, had at length been induced to kill and swallow a duck. This very touchy and vindictive lady, it appears, had taken such grave offense at her capture in her South American home, and at her subsequent compulsory voyage to Great Britain, that she sulked persistently for a whole year, and invariably refused the keeper’s most tempting offers of live rabbits or plump young pigeons.
WHO has not felt a sudden and intense pleasure when, rounding the end of some mighty mountain or towering crag, the still waters of an upland lake or tarn have first met the eye? Perhaps, on approach, wild birds have started from the smooth surface and left it a little sea of shimmering gold, as the sun’s light has been reflected from each tiny wavelet.
HUMPHRY DAVY, one of the world’s greatest chemists, and the discoverer of the electric light, was born December 17, 1778, at Penzance, in Cornwall. His father, a wood-carver and gilder by trade, died in 1794, leaving his widow and five children, the oldest of whom was Humphry, in destitute circumstances.
HOW the art of war, by the powerful stimulus it has given to the investigation of the properties of projectiles and numerous kindred researches, has been an efficient promoter of progress in physical science, is well understood. The strife among engineers to construct guns that shall be able to pierce any barrier, and to construct barriers that shall resist all guns, has led to results in improving the quality of metals which could hardly have been gained in any other way.
THE territory of Marocco, which is larger than Spain, and is within six days’ sail of England, extends along the Mediterranean from Algeria through the straits of Gibraltar to the Atlantic Ocean, and southward to nearly opposite the Canary Islands, having a coast-line of fully nine hundred miles.
The History of Map-making.—The President of the American Geographical Society, Judge Daly, in an address on the history of map-making previous to the time of Mercator, expressed his belief that the cartographic art is as old as, or even older than, the invention of the alphabet.
THE Royal Astronomical Society of London has awarded a gold medal to Professor Asaph Hall for “his discovery and observations of the satellites of Mars.” HEINRICH GEISSLER, inventor of sundry ingenious physical apparatus—the Geissler tubes, the vaporimeter, etc.—died January 24th, at Bonn, aged sixty-five years.