BE it or be it not true that man is “shapen in iniquity” and conceived in sin, it is unquestionably true that Government is begotten of aggression and by aggression. In small, undeveloped societies where for ages complete peace has continued, there exists nothing like what we call Government: no coercive agency, but mere honorary headship, if any headship at all.
THANKS to the decrease of castor in value, owing to the substitutes which have been found in the skins of seal, nutria—the improved preparation of other peltry of little value, such as the hare and rabbit—and more than all in the use of silk in the manufacture of hats, a little breathing-time has been allowed the beaver, which a few years since bade fair to speedily become extinct.
THE PROGRESS OF THE WORKING-CLASSES IN THE LAST HALF-CENTURY.*
WE are carried back on this occasion very naturally to the origin of the society, by an impending event which now casts its shadow before—our approaching jubilee, which we may hope will be worthily celebrated. On such an occasion, I believe the subject on which I propose to address you to-night will be not unsuitable—a review of the official statistics bearing on the progress of the workingclasses—the masses of the nation—in the last half-century.
THE liquor question, like the poor, we have always with us; and at present, as at almost any time for many years past, the best method of dealing with it is being actively discussed in many parts of the country. Public opinion seems to be divided between repressive and restrictive legislation; and, in view of this fact and of the efforts of those who favor the prohibitory system to introduce it in localities where other methods have hitherto prevailed, the experience of Vermont, which has had a prohibitory liquor law for more than thirty years, furnishes an instructive lesson.
FOR many centuries the occult problem how to account for the milk in the cocoa-nut has awakened the profoundest interest alike of ingenious infancy and of maturer scientific age. Though it can not be truthfully affirmed of it, as of the cosmogony or creation of the world, in “The Vicar of Wakefield,” that it “has puzzled the philosophers of all ages” (for Sanchoniathon was certainly ignorant of the very existence of that delicious juice, and Manetho doubtless went to his grave without ever having tasted it fresh from the nut under a tropical veranda), yet it may be safely asserted that for the last three hundred years the philosopher who has not at some time or other of his life meditated upon that abstruse question, is unworthy of such an exalted name.
THE average length of human life in civilized countries is calculated to be about thirty-three years. This mean applies to the whole of the population of a country. But certain distinctions may be made, between different professions for example, among which considerable variations are observable.
I NOW proceed to examine the chemical changes which occur in the course of the cookery of vegetable substances used for food. My readers will remember that I referred to Haller’s statement, “Dimidium corporis humani gluten est,” which applies to animals generally, viz.
IT was believed at one time that flies and some other insects owe the faculty of running over smooth bodies like glass to the numerous hairs with which their feet are provided catching in the pores of the material. The absurdity of this supposition is readily apparent on examining glass with the microscope; and no naturalist can be found in these days to uphold it.
THE subject of the distribution of plants and animals has for a long time engaged the attention of many able, persistent, and discriminating investigators. Much time and effort have been expended in simply observing and describing the various means by which they get about from place to place.
THE title at the head of this article may appear to some a contradiction in terms. But it is not really so. And no religious man need shrink from saying: “I am a Christian agnostic. I hold firmly by the doctrine of St. Paul, who exclaims, in sheer despair of fathoming the unfathomable, 'O the depth of God!
FROM recognized cosmical conditions, we conclude that the earth, like the other bodies in the universe, was originally a mass of vapor, which has undergone gradual cooling, condensation, and solidification. The heavier parts collected into a core, which, very likely resembling meteoric iron, was in the primeval epoch covered with glowing liquid masses of silicates, and the whole was surrounded by dense vapors.
THE project recently initiated for establishing in New York on an adequate scale a hospital for the treatment of skin-diseases is of great importance to this community. It has been long understood that medical progress can only be best facilitated by the concentration of thought upon special groups of diseases, and that for this purpose special institutions are demanded.
A MAN’S power of increasing happiness depends both directly and indirectly on his fitness for the occupations of his life. Directly, because if unfit, whether through ill health or inaptitude, he works with pain instead of pleasure, and because he gives less satisfaction or causes actual annoyance to those for whom his occupations, whatsoever they may be, are pursued.
IN the quiet little town of Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, there has lately died a man whose life appears to the writer to present a psychological study of marked interest. Nature, in what are called her freaks, or abnormal products, oft-times gives us hints of powers altogether beyond the ordinary, but destined, it may be, through the development of the race, to become common possessions of mankind.
"WITHOUT forming what is ordinarily called an eventful career,” says an English essayist,* “the life of Mrs. Somerville is marked by a degree of interest far beyond that which attaches to the lives of many men and women who have shown more striking traits of temperament and character.
I AM one of your devoted readers, enjoy nearly all your articles, swallow nearly all of your latest theories, and try experiments suggested by the valuable chapters upon “Chemistry of Cookery.” Yesterday being the first pause in the deluge which we have endured for three weeks, I took advantage of the fair weather to make some calls, donned my better gown, and, alas! my best shoes, and paid twelve debts to society.
THE contrasts in the social condition of rich and poor—the lofty, luminous mountains of wealth, and the deep, dark valleys of poverty—have ever formed a picturesque subject for rhetorical treatment, which has always made popular such books as “The Glory and the Shame of England.”
Edward J. Hallock, A. M., Ph. D.—It is with much regret that we have to announce the death, on March 22d, of Dr. Hallock, for many years a contributor to this journal. He was born in Peekskill, New York, on the 19th of June, 1845. His early education was in the local schools of his birthplace, ending with the Peekskill Military Academy.
AT the recent annual dinner cf the Yale alumni resident in Boston and vicinity, opinions in regard to the classics, of the same tenor as those with which the Yale students have been so sedulously dosed all winter, were expressed by several speakers, including General F. A. Walker, President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.