NEW CHAPTERS IN THE WARFARE OF SCIENCE. VI.—DIABOLISM AND HYSTERIA.
ANDREW DICKSON WHITE
IN the foregoing chapter I have sketched the triumph of science in destroying the idea that individual lunatics are “possessed by devils,”—in establishing the truth that insanity is physical disease,—and in substituting for superstitious cruelties toward the insane a treatment mild, kindly, and based upon ascertained facts.
IN the reproduction of the beautiful, Art has occupied itself chiefly with form and color, and has seldom made more serious demands upon light than to ask enough of it to reflect its achievements in these two directions to the eye of the beholder.
THE island of Fernando de Noronha* is in the South Atlantic Ocean, two hundred and fifty miles south of the equator, about two hundred miles northeast of Cape St. Roque, and near the track of vessels plying between European ports and those of South America lying south of the cape.
IN the whole planetary empire of the sun there is but one body, if we except the moon, whose actual surface can be satisfactorily examined even with the most powerful telescope. The broad disk of Jupiter presents a most inviting and splendid sight; but it is apparent that we are not looking at the solid shell of a planet, but at a vast expanse of thick clouds, surrounding and concealing the planetary core, and reflecting the sunlight from their shifting surfaces.
JACK HAMPSON was a capital sample of the best traditions of Mugby School. A lad of fourteen, with well-knit limbs, brave, honest-looking, bluish-gray eyes, a good cricketer and swimmer, and not bad at a high jump. He could no more do a mean thing than he could tell a lie; and he could give or take a thrashing if absolutely necessary, although he would be in no hurry for either.
IT would hardly be reasonable to complain of Prof. Huxley’s delay in replying to the paper on “ Agnosticism ” which I read five months ago, when, at the urgent request of an old friend, I reluctantly consented to address the Church Congress at Manchester.
THE statistics collected from the sugar-producing countries show that more than one half of the world’s sugar is derived from the beet-root ; and it is known that the consumers of sugar in the United States often make daily use of it in their households without suspecting that they are contributing to the support of the peasantry and wage-earners of continental Europe.
WHAT a subject scientific research has found in eggs as a study, witness the works of Moquin-Tandon and O. des Murs.* These publications serve to show how the oölogic characteristics may assist in the methodical classification of birds, what relation there is between the egg and the organic conformation of the bird, and what particular habits of birds may be gathered from a study of their eggs and nests.
NOTHSTANDING its size, prosperity, and luxury, the commercial metropolis of the United States has been hitherto a less fruitful soil for the rise and growth of humanistic and scientific institutions of learning, and museums, than Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, and, through its university, Baltimore.
THE Royal Geographical Society enjoyed a profitable evening a few months ago in hearing an account by Lieutenant F. E. Younghusband of a journey which he had made across Central Asia from Manchuria and Peking to Kashmir, over the Mustagh Pass, and the discussion upon it, in which officers learned in Indian geography took part.
THE name of Prof. Clausius—"one of the most brilliant lights of the nineteenth century,” as he is called by one of the VicePresidents of the British Association—is conspicuously associated, along with those of Rankine and Prof. William Thomson, in the development of the science of thermodynamics, or the demonstration of the mechanical theory of heat; and to him is credited the first placing of the kinetic theory of gases on a secure scientific basis.
IN your February issue Mr. S. F. Goodrich brings up the question whether animals ever “play ’possum.” He suggests that the apparent helplessness of certain animals when attacked is real; that what is popularly ascribed to cunning is in reality due to fright—a faint, and not a feint.
MILL’S “Essay on Liberty” and Darwin’s “Origin of Species” mark the opening of what we may regard as the latest chapter in the history of modern thought. Mill vindicated for all men the right, not only of using their individual judgment, but of expressing their individual opinions, upon all subjects whatsoever, and proclaimed it to be at once the duty and the interest of society at large to see that no impediments were cast in the way of such exercise of intellectual liberty.
FOLK-LORE is always a fascinating study, and no branch of it offers more of peculiar interest than that of plants. Prof. Dyer, therefore, has chosen a popular theme, one that has engaged the attention of many writers before him, and the present volume is a condensation in large part from previous books and papers upon the subject.
Preserving Timber from Moisture,—The following recommendations are given by the Forestry Division of the Department of Agriculture in regard to the cheaper coatings for keeping moisture out of timber : Never apply paint or any other coating to green or unseasoned timber.
WE are indebted to the kindness of the Tiffany Glass Company, of New York, for the use of the photographs from which the illustrations were engraved for Prof. Henderson’s article on “ The History of a PictureWindow,” in thi3 issue of the “ Monthly.”