NEXT to our dietetic sins, the abuses connected with our habits of domestic life have contributed the largest share to the great sum of human misery. Yet few evils might be more easily avoided. There are diseases which may be considered as visitations of national iniquities whose consequences are almost beyond the control of individuals; but for the sufferings caused by scrofula and pulmonary disorders we are indebted chiefly to our own prejudices.
THE general democratic tendency of the past three hundred years has had some curious results. Free thought and free speech have brought about a universal freedom in criticism, so that, at the present time, singularly enough, it has come to be looked upon as a sign of high civilization and progress for every man to have an opinion about everything, whether he knows anything about it or not.
"WHEN the one who listens does not comprehend, and the one who speaks understands as little, you have metaphysics,” says Voltaire. Taking this as a true definition, we may say that there has been, and yet remains, much metaphysics in the treatment of the functions of the brain.
A LUMP of coal—black and grimy, and repulsive to sight and touch as it is—is, perhaps, not the most promising subject that could be selected for Sabbath-evening reflections. But, if there are sermons in stones, why not in coal? The black thing, that we would rather not handle when we have any proper regard for cleanliness, becomes an object of interest when we find it exerting energy in the engine-furnace or shedding warmth and radiance around our household hearth.
THE conceptions of biologists have been greatly advanced by the discovery that organisms which, when adult, appear to have scarcely anything in common, were, in their first stages, very similar; and that, indeed, all organisms start with a common structure.
THE striking feature of the present age is that outcropping of barbarism which has found in the persecution of the Jews an object for the full exercise of its passionate violence. It is our inheritance of centuries, hard to conquer, enduring as adamantine substance in those races that worked themselves out later than the rest into an existence worthy of man.
IT is my intention to indicate the historical scope and present bearings of my topic by a brief analysis of the following four conditions of social order involved in its consideration, viz.: 1. The law of social development underlying the various legal positions of married women, historically traced.
COMPARATIVELY little has yet been done in the way of precise measurement of the rate at which the exposed surfaces of different kinds of rock are removed in the processes of weathering. A few years ago some experiments were instituted by Professor Pfaff, of Erlangen, to obtain more definite information on this subject.
OF all the institutions which we are proud to call American, none makes so great an expenditure as our system of public education, and none receives so little critical attention from those by whom it is supported. It is seldom referred to except for purposes of flattery.
THE real question to be considered in discussing the ethics of luxury is, Is it useful? This question has a bearing on living issues, for it touches the foundation of the contentions which threaten civilized societies. It is well considered in the "History of Luxury"† of M. Baudrillart, who has brought to his work the result of twenty years of study in philosophy and political economy.
IT has been said that every man is born a Platonist or an Aristotelian. This is an epigrammatic way of stating the fact that the general tendency in the pursuit of knowledge is to approach it from one or the other of two different standpoints, variously called the subjective and the objective; the mental and the material; the theological, or metaphysical, and the scientific.
THIS illustrious American mathematician and astronomer died in Boston, October 6, 1880, in the seventy-second year of his age. He was born in Salem, Massachusetts, April 4, 1809. He was graduated at Harvard College at the age of twenty. His father was a graduate of the same institution, and died its librarian.
ABOUT four years ago a large, wholesale-grocery firm, doing business on Strand Street, in this city, received a consignment of several barrels of onions. These onions were raised by a German farmer living in one of the counties lying west of the Colorado River, and near the line of the railroad running between Galveston and San Antonio.
WHEN we compare pictures of the sixteenth and of the nineteenth centuries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, we are conscious that the charm of modern work is in the truthful delineation of scenery and character, in a certain reflection of our experiences, and in fitness as related to the drift of our imagination.
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, UNITED STATES ARMY. Pp. 264.
WE have here a volume that will raise still further the already high character of the series to which it belongs. It is a fresh and original contribution to a most interesting branch of zoölogy, which will be indispensable to every naturalist, and will be prized by all readers who care for the progress of knowledge concerning the general phenomena of life.
Bone-Caves in Pennsylvania.—Professor Leidy in company with Dr. T. C. Porter, of Easton, Pennsylvania, visited, in August last, Hartman’s Cave, near Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, on the invitation of Mr. T. D. Paret, of that place, and examined a number of interesting animal and other remains which were found there.
FLEUSS’S diving apparatus, which we described several months ago, has been used with success at the Severn Tunnel by a professional diver, who with it reached the bottom of the shaft under thirty-five feet of water, and walked more than a thousand feet up a heading to close some sluices and shut an iron door.