IN the foregoing chapter we have seen the culmination of the old procedure regarding insanity, as it was developed under theology and enforced by ecclesiasticism ; and we have noted how, under the influence of Luther and Calvin, the Reformation rather deepened than weakened the faith in the malice and power of a personal devil.
SOME years ago, in the course of a conversation with an eminent mathematician, I asked in all seriousness whether he could give me a definition of mathematics that would convey to my mind even a faint idea of the object in view in mathematical investigation.
"OCARLYLE!” exclaimed Emerson, in his diary, at the time “Sartor Resartus” was being republished in America, “the merit of glass is not to be seen, but to be seen through; but every crystal and lamina of the Carlyle glass shows.” With admirable precision this defines the proper function of a pane of glass.
THE South Slavic peoples have a number of popular songs reciting with many variations the theme of the wedding of the sun or the moon with the morning star or dawn. The relatives of these luminaries also play a part in the wedding processions, and appear variously as the nuptial dignitaries—Saint John, the thunderer Elias, and the holy Virgin Mary.
LAST autumn I happened to spend a few days in the heart of the Adirondacks, in a small village some fourteen miles from the nearest railroad-station. During the stage-coach journey I found that two of my fellow-passengers were commercial travelers.
NOTHING is more perplexing to the inquiring mind than a contemplation of the great contrasts between the harmony and adaptation existing in the material world and the incongruities, antagonisms, and disorder which characterize the social and moral worlds.
IT is a very trite remark that the Pacific Ocean often emphatically belies its title. I can not altogether defend it ; and, in fact, it would be unreasonable to expect consistency from so vast an expanse of the unstable. When the grateful Magellan, escaping from the wintry horrors of the region now always associated with his name, burst into the sunshine and balmy breezes beyond, he did not, naturally, reflect very closely on the area over which the new name was to be applied.
DO we know anything about the earth in the beginning of its history — anything of those rock-masses on which, as on foundation-stones, the great superstructure of the fossiliferous strata must rest? Palæontologists, by their patient industry, have deciphered many of the inscriptions, blurred and battered though they be, in which the story of life is engraved on the great stone book of Nature.
THE question before the educators of our country is a practical one, involving important and far-reaching results. Shall science lessons be given in elementary schools? It is a question which can be answered affirmatively or negatively only by considering why and how such lessons shall be given.
FROM the Bay of Bengal westward, through northern India, Afghanistan, Beloochistan, Persia, Armenia, Asia Minor, and on through Europe to its farthest bounds—and thence, in modern times, crossing the Atlantic and spreading over both Americas—one great linguistic family occupies a vaster space, peopled by a larger number of famous and powerful nations, than belong to any other ethnic kindred.
THE Seventh International Congress of Americanists met in Berlin, on October 2d, and was opened by Honorary President Gossler, the Prussian Minister of Worship. Although Germany, the speaker said, “had not had any remarkable part in the discovery of America, or in the earliest steps in planting European civilization in the new quarter, it had participated in a rising degree in the scientific discovery of the continent.
"IN 1555,” says M. Louis Crié, “Pierre Belon, of Mans, well known by his travels in Italy, Greece, and the East, revealed himself as an observer of great sagacity and as a bold thinker. With him came at once the end of compilation and the beginning of observation.
MY object in writing to you on November 1, 1888, was, as I then stated, to call the attention of Prof. Shaler to the error into which he had fallen in attributing to the gopher (a tortoise) the habits of the salamander (Geomys pinetis), a small rodent.
WHEN the storm of the French Revolution was over, the Abbé Sieyès, who had taken a prominent part in it at the outset, was asked, somewhat in derision, what he had done in that critical time. “J'ai vécu,” was his reply: “I lived through it.” This, indeed, was no mean success for any actor in that bloody drama; and the philosophical abbé might well take a little pride in the adroitness that had enabled him to keep his head on his shoulders.
THE EULOGY OF RICHARD JEFFERIES. By WALTER BESANT. New York: Longmans, Green & Co. Pp. 384. Price, $2. THE name of the subject of this book may not be familiar to all the readers of the “Monthly.” An insight of the quality of the man may, however, be given by the fact that Mr. Besant started to write his life without ever having seen him, and ended by calling the biography a eulogy.
M. Chevreul’s New-Year’s-Day. — M. Chevreul, who was a hundred and two years old on the 31st of August last, had a happy New-Year. According to an authentic account of his present daily life, given in “La Nature,” he awakes at five o’clock in the morning, and is served a few minutes afterward with a warm broth, which he takes with a relish.
THE seventh annual meeting of the American Forestry Congress was held at Atlanta, Ga., December 5, 6, and 7, 1888. Papers and addresses on various subjects pertinent to forestry in America were given. The Congress has for its object the creation of a public sentiment in favor of a more rational treatment of our forest resources.