“ Our little systems have their day ; They have their day, and cease to be.”
C. H. STEPHENS.
THERE is no one, I fancy, who is in the habit of reading the news papers, or of witnessing the conduct of jury-trials, but has often had occasion to laugh at the vagaries of juries and their curious verdicts. A volume might be filled with them which would rival in interest Dean Ramsay’s “Reminiscences” or Joe Miller’s “jokes.”
TEN years ago I warned Mr. Herbert Spencer that his Religion of the Unknowable was certain to lead him into strange company. “To invoke the Unknowable,” I said, “is to reopen the whole range of Metaphysics ; and the entire apparatus of Theology will follow through the breach.”
THOSE who expected from Mr. Harrison an interesting rejoinder to my reply, will not be disappointed. Those who looked for points skilfully made, which either are, or seem to be, telling, will be fully satisfied. Those who sought pleasure from witnessing a display of literary power, will close his article gratified with the hour they have spent over it.
OF the many writers upon this subject, some have approached it with such an imperfect and narrow acquaintance with the facts that their contributions are of no interest to the scientific student ; while other writers have allowed some minor generalizations to assume such prominence that their papers are of little value in themselves.
OUR lives are interwoven here below, frequently, indeed most fre quently, without our knowing it. We are in great part molded by unconscious interaction. Thus, without intending it, the present representative of the Birkbeck family in Yorkshire has helped to shape my life.
IN the ancient city of Siena, secluded among the hills of Northern Italy, Christopher Columbus received his education, and there, over the portal of the old collegiate church, hangs a memento of his * This article is largely made up from “ Materials for a History of the Sword-fishes,” by G. Brown Goode, in the “ United States Fish Commission Report for 1880,” from which the cuts have also been obtained.
THE tangible influence of Continental Europe, and especially of Germany, upon our thought and life, our education, habits, and morals, is perhaps greater than we are wont to grant or appreciate. This is in part due to the annual transfer of large sections of the German population to our shores and their absorption into our social system ; but it is owing still more to the migration of Americans to Germany, where they come in contact with institutions that seem usually to impress them favorably.
SIR : Your reviewer, reviewing Mr. Spencer’s valuable book of “ Man vs. The State ” with great sympathy and interest, seems to wonder why Mr. Spencer does not believe in and admire the Factory Acts. Surely to protect children against parents greedy of gain is and must be a right act seems to be his instinctive thought, as it is that of so many other persons.
PROFESSOR OF SURGERY IN THE TOLEDO MEDICAL COLLEGE, TOLEDO, OHIO.
J. H. POOLEY,
THIS rare affection, which has always excited in a high degree the interest and attention of medical observers, consists essentially of a haemorrhage from the unbroken surface of the skin. But, inasmuch as it takes place from the net-work of small vessels which surround the sweat-glands, and makes it appearance through the opening of the sweat-ducts, it is not inappropriately, after all, named “ bloody sweat.”
BY mimicry we understand the assumption by animals of a deceptive similarity answering a protective purpose, not only to other animals, but also to lifeless objects, and, in color, to the surroundings. In a biological application, this definition of the term, though different from the common one, is well founded ; for similarity of an animal with any object affords it protection, by enabling it to approach its prey unobserved ; by facilitating its escape from enemies ; or by shielding it, under cover of its resemblance to unpleasant objects, from hostile attacks.
BEFORE proceeding further, I must fulfill the promise made in No. 39 to report the results of my repetition of the Indian process of preparing samp. I soaked some ordinary Indian corn in a solution of carbonate of potash, exceeding the ten or twelve hours.
BY a museum I do not mean a storehouse of things curious in art or nature—a repository of curiosities, as Worcester defines the word, although in most large towns there are places called museums, and realizing his definition—but a building in which are collected books, and natural or artificial objects that relate to, and are preserved, classified, and conveniently arranged to illustrate, one or more departments of knowledge, and from which objects of mere curiosity are excluded.
IN choosing as my subject “The Building of Town-Houses,” it seemed to me that I might, from the experience gained during the past five-and-twenty years in my professional career as an architect, give some information and suggestions on the various points which should be specially observed and insisted upon in any building wherein sound construction, healthy arrangement, common-sense treatment of the rooms, and practical knowledge in their general fitting up, are all-important, where health, cleanliness, and comfort, and economy of service and labor, are considered necessary.
ON October 1, 1876, one of the millionaires of the New World died at San Francisco. Although owning a no more euphonions name than James Lick, he had contrived to secure a future for it. He had founded and endowed the first great astronomical establishment planted on the heights, between the stars and the sea.
HENRY ENFIELD ROSCOE, F. R. S., now Sir Henry Roscoe, is a grandson of William Roscoe, of Liverpool, the distinguished merchant-historian, and a son of Henry Roscoe, Esq., barrister-at-law, and was born January 7, 1833. He was educated at Liverpool High School, University College, London, and Heidelberg.
HARRISON AND SPENCER ON RELIGION. WE print the concluding portion of a controversy between Frederic Harrison and Herbert Spencer on the nature of religion. In an article which appeared in the “ Monthly ” of last January, Mr. Spencer took a retrospective view of the past tendencies of religious ideas, and on the basis of this pointed out the further changes that may be expected in the future.
The International Prime Meridian Conference.—The International Conference, for fixing upon a prime meridian whence longitude should be reckoned, began its sessions in Washington, October 1st. Twenty-five nations were represented by forty delegates.