THE CHARACTER AND DISCIPLINE OF POLITICAL ECONOMY.
J. LAURENCE LAUGHLIN
WALTER BAGEHOT once said of certain literary economists, who had no bent for practical affairs, that they were “like astronomers who had never seen the stars.” In fact, no small number of people believe that this applies to all political economists ; that they do very well as students of books, but are unable to keep their heads in the midst of facts and actual business ; and that only the “hard-headed” merchant is competent to explain the causes of what he sees to the uninitiated.
IT is the design of these papers to consider some of the more recent experiments and opinions as to the relations between nerve-matter and consciousness. The subject has been much be-written ; the final word, however, is not in print, or likely to make its appearance there for some time to come.
THE same considerations hold good in India. The famous places of pilgrimage, whose sanctuaries are annually visited by many millions of individuals, always have some cases of cholera among them ; but it is only occasionally that an epidemic breaks out, and then it is only at those times when the predisposition to cholera exists—periods, be it noted, which do not for the most part coincide with the time when the number of pilgrims is at its greatest, nor when the principal feasts are in progress.
LAST year was not extraordinary in its fire record. It bore no such calamity in its course as 1871 or 1873, when the nation was called to mourn for Chicago or Boston. Yet there is good reason to believe that during 1884 fires cost the United States $160,000,000.
SINCE times long ago ships have been yearly going out from their native ports in pursuit of the whale. The vessels of the ancient Basques, and the fleets of the Hanse cities, of the Netherlands, and of the Norwegians, enticed by the lucrative pursuit, eagerly pressed forward into the dangerous frozen sea.
WE have not to take part here for or against the philosophy of Evolution. The only points we wish to examine in the controversy are, first, if the historical development of the religious sentiment can be summed up into a gradual reduction of the divine attributes, into a simplification, or, to borrow Mr. Spencer’s barbarous term, a deanthropomorphization of the divinity ; next, if the theory of the Unknowable has all the elements necessary to beget a religion ; and, lastly, if the religious sentiment is tending to divest itself of every moral element, or whether it is destined, as the Comtists maintain, to confound itself with altruism or devotion to humanity.
DURING the past eight years as a magistrate with criminal jurisdiction in a town of about four thousand inhabitants, in Western Massachusetts, I have disposed of about five hundred cases of drunkenness, and numerous cases of common drunkards, brought before me on complaint.
FOR over twenty centuries the philosophical writings of Aristotle have sustained his reputation as one of the greatest thinkers that the world has ever seen. Although he is generally thought of as a metaphysician and a logician, these names by no means denote the whole field of his labors.
AMONG the recent industries of rapid growth in this country, bee-culture stands prominent. Of course, as a homely art, bee-keeping is no modern industry, being as old as history ; but in its scientific developments it is of recent growth.
THE doctrine of the cell, as the unit of vegetable and animal structure, has been constantly varying in its details since its first proposal by Schleiden in 1837 and Schwamm in 1839. It was at first held that the cell was a microscopic vesicle, globular in its typical form, bounded by a firm membranous wall, and inclosing fluid or semi-fluid contents.
IN the course of these papers I have repeatedly spoken of the nitrogenous and non-nitrogenous constituents of food, assuming that the nitrogenous are the most nutritious, are the plastic or flesh-building materials ; and that the non-nitrogenous materials can not build up flesh or bone or nervous matter, can only supply the material of fat, and by their combustion maintain the animal heat.
GOOD planning means not merely the arrangement of a certain number of rooms on a certain number of floors, but careful and close attention to the general domestic requirements and arrangements of the ordinary householder, and to all smaller details which make up the comfort and convenience of the house.
PROFESSOR TROWBRIDGE is the son of a physician, and was born in Boston in 1843. He prepared for Harvard University at the Boston Latin School, but did not join the Freshman class. He entered the Lawrence Scientific School, from which he was graduated in 1866.
IN the November issue of your valuable “Monthly” I have read with much pleasure and profit Mr. S. W. Powell’s article entitled “Drowning the Torrent in Vegetation”; and, in closing, he writes, “In the recent Ohio floods the States which suffered most—Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois— were not those where most of the deforesting was done which caused the floods.”
HARVARD UNIVERSITY is to be congratulated on its leadership in the important work of liberalizing the traditional college education. It has ended—or is on the way to ending— the narrow and intolerant policy of forcing upon all its students an old study not required by them, and the imperfect general acquisition of which has become a reproach to the institution, and the standing scandal of college education.
THE author of this book has chosen a magnificent subject, and, although it is formidable in extent and much of it involved in obscurity, and all of it complicated with great questions of history and human progress, he has yet been able to throw much new light upon that liberalization of thought which went very unsteadily forward during twenty-two hundred years, before the great modern movement of the development for intellectual liberty.
Psychology of the Chimpanzee.—Dr. C. Pitfield Mitchell has published a “Study of the Psychology of the Chimpanzee,” which he has made upon a specimen in captivity at the Central Park Menagerie, New York. On being introduced, the animal offers his right fore hand, and, grasping one of the fingers of his visitor, attempts to put it in his mouth.
THE true source of the Mississippi River has been determined, as he claims, by Captain Willard Glazier, who led an expedition in search of it in 1881, to be a lake a few miles south of Itasca Lake, and not less than three feet above it, in latitude 47° 13' 25".