IT is now nineteen years since my attention was first specially directed to the natural history of the herring, and to the many important economical and legal questions connected with the herring-fisheries. As a member of two successive Royal Commissions, it fell to my lot to take part in inquiries held at every important fishing-station in the United Kingdom between the years 1862 and 1865, and to hear all that practical fishermen had to tell about the matter ; while I had free access to the official records of the Fishery Boards.
HAPPINESS is the normal condition of every living creature, for in a state of nature every normal function is connected with a pleasurable sensation. “ To enjoy is to obey ” ; if human life were what it could be and what its Author intended it to be, the path of duty would be a flowery path, the reward of virtue would not be a crown of thorns ; man, like all his fellow-creatures, would attain to his highest well-being by simply following the promptings of his instincts.
THE main facts of blood circulation have been known only two hundred and fifty years. This would be surprising if we were not aware that most of our certain knowledge in natural history, including many truths of easier discovery than the circulation of the blood, has been gained within the last one hundred years.
ASCIENCE, like a child, grows quickest in the first few years of its existence ; and it is therefore not astonishing that, though twenty years only have elapsed since Spectrum Analysis first entered the world, we are able to speak to-day of a modern spectroscopy, with higher and more ambitious aims, striving to obtain results which shall surpass in importance any of those achieved by the old spectroscopy, to the astonishment of the scientific world.
LIFE insurance is based upon the theory that there is a law of mortality governing life; that is to say, that at all ages from birth to the utmost limits of life a certain proportion of individuals will die during fixed periods. Not that the precise duration of an individ ual life can be predicted, but that the ratio of deaths out of large aggre gates will remain the same under similar conditions.
I DESIRE to call attention to the insufficient employment of milk as an ordinary article of diet in this country. It may seem hardly possible to maintain that such a complaint is rightly grounded. All classes of persons are supposed to use milk, to some amount, as a matter of course.
I HAVE frequently been much struck by the absence of information, even among professed naturalists and professed psychologists, concerning the intelligence of ants. The literature on the subject being scattered and diffused, it is not many persons who have either the leisure or the inclination to search it out for themselves.
FROM the remotest periods of which we have quoted or written records, the moon has been an object of adoring and speculative contemplation. As the babe in the cradle, crowing and smiling, stretches out its tiny hands to grasp the shining flame of the distant candle, so the infant races of the world gazed at the radiant orb above them, seeking to grasp and penetrate its mystic beauties.
IN the course of some recent inquiries into visual memory, I was greatly struck by the frequency of the replies in which my informants described themselves as subject to “ visions.” Those of whom I speak were sane and healthy, but were subject notwithstanding to visual presentations, for which they could not often account, and which in a few cases reached the level of hallucinations.
ENTILATION is the supply of fresh air to an apartment, and the removal of impure or vitiated air therefrom. An adequate supply of free oxygen is absolutely necessary to animal life ; and, the higher we ascend in the scale of that life, the greater the quantity of oxygen consumed, and the more urgent the necessity for its consumption.
BITUMEN appears in nature as an accidental mineralogical product, under the most diverse and often most inexplicable conditions. It is found sometimes in the native state, sometimes mixed with clays, sometimes as the cement of conglomerates, sometimes impregnating limestones.
MAN, being himself distinctly individualized, endeavors to find the unit of existence in all other forms of life. He meets with no great difficulties among the higher animals, but is perplexed and sometimes discouraged when search is made for the individual in the lower animals and in plants.
SOME few weeks ago a letter appeared in the “Times,” signed “ F. R. S.,” describing a “ box of lightning ” which the writer had brought over from Paris for the purpose of submitting it to Sir William Thomson. Since then a long discussion has taken place on the subject of the invention and its usefulness.
IT has been given to few scientific investigators to be more closely identified through their discoveries with the practical progress of the world, to see the fruits of their researches taken up and applied, made appreciable and beneficial in a greater diversity of lines, than to ROBERT WILHELM BUNSEIST.
DEAR SIRS : On pages 28 and 29 of the May number of the “ Monthly ” there is given an explanation of the fact that some of the Saratoga springs spout intermittently, which seems to be entirely inadequate. The author says : “ As the water flows into the pocket from the surrounding inlets it gradually rises above the outlet, which results in the compression of the gas between the roof of the cavity and the surface of the accumulating water ; when the force of compression reaches its maximum, it drives the water from the chamber up through the tube, from which it escapes in some instances to a distance of thirty feet in a vertical direction.
HE who said that the key to the government of mankind is given in the three words “hell and bayonets,” made a compact formula for that system of external coercion by which human conduct in past times has been chiefly regulated. Men have been ruled through their fears and by intimidation, the state threatening the penalties of this world, and the Church those of the next, to enforce conformity to the prescribed standards of right conduct.
THE appearance of Mr. Tylor’s long-expected manual of anthropology will be welcomed by many as a valuable contribution to the cause of advancing education. Anthropology, the science of man, is the latest and highest product of growing knowledge.
Salmou of the Pacific Coast.—Messrs. David S. Jordan and Charles H. Gilbert, who have been engaged in the study of the fishes of the Pacific coast, state in the abstract of their report, which is published in the “ American Naturalist,” that they have observed five species of salmon ( Oncorhyncus) in the waters of the North Pacific.
MR. E. F. HORTON gives an account, in the “ Kansas City Review,” of the opening of a mound thirty or forty feet in diameter, near Trenton, Missouri, June 9th, in which at least twenty-five human skeletons, but no relics or implements, were found.