IT might seem that liberty was one of the most trite and worn of all subjects. It will be the aim of this paper to show that liberty is the least well analyzed of all the important social conceptions, that it is the thing at stake in the most important current controversies, and that it needs to be defended as much against those who abuse it as against those who deride it.
AS the love of life is generally acknowledged to be the strongest instinct of the human mind, it is but natural that the subject of voluntary death should have attracted, at all times, a great amount of attention from moralists and sociologists.
THE little boat lay ready at the dock of Nice; I had at that time to depend upon my own hands. The idea that a permanent station could be established on the sea-coast, with laboratories in which the student could find in one place all the aids he would need in the investigation of sea-animals, had not yet occurred to any one.
THE number of persons that may subsist upon the products of an acre of land appears to have been practically determined by the Chinese. On ground that has been tilled for thousands of years they, by a skillful use of fertilizers and by attention to the welfare of each plant, raise crops that would honor a virgin soil.
READERS who may be willing to look at this further reply on my part to Prof. Huxley need not be apprehensive of being entangled in any such obscure points of church history as those with which the professor has found it necessary to perplex them in support of his contentions; still less of being troubled with any personal explanations.
IN the February number of this review Prof. Huxley put into the mouth of Mr. Frederic Harrison the following sentence : “ In his [the agnostic’s] place, as a sort of navvy leveling the ground and cleansing it of such poor stuff as Christianity, he is a useful creature who deserves patting on the back—on condition that he does not venture beyond his last.
THE microscopic world is ever fair. In every department of research we revert to our instruments, certainly expecting to be charmed by beauty, whether of movement or mechanism. Rarely are we disappointed, certainly not in the realm of organic form.
SOME years since the writer was much impressed by an article by Prof. Huxley, in “The Popular Science Monthly,” on the artificial propagation of food-fishes, in which he recognizes the value of the economic results which have followed the culture of the fishes of inland waters, but gives very emphatic expression to his belief that man’s influence, either for good or for bad, upon the infinite wealth of the ocean, is so very slight as to be absolutely without significance.
IT is a remarkable fact that in social and industrial concerns men never dream of restoring an equilibrium by withdrawing the forces which disturb it, but they invariably demand the exertion of new and opposite forces to neutralize the effect of those in operation which could more easily be removed.
THE fundamental characteristic of the animal world, as distinguished from the vegetable world, lies in its different relations to the energies of matter. Every animal is a mechanism for the liberation of energy previously stored up, in great part, in the tissues of plants which serve as food for these higher forms of life ; and the quantity and kinds of energy liberated in any animal are determined mainly by the degree of development of the muscular and nervous systems, the other tissues and organs of the body being subservient to these two, which have been well styled the master tissues.
IN Polynesia, the distinct classes constitute a similar state of things to the family group in the peoples of Asia, since they form an exclusive organization, holding property in common. It is not very clear how these classes arose, but we may assume that they are connected with an earlier distribution into clans, so that the chief represents the eldest line of the posterity of their common ancestor.
IT is a trait peculiar to some minds to believe too much and to others to believe too little. Between these extremes, however, there are many who, though keenly alive to the limitations of medicine, are, at the same time, able to appreciate the great boon it is to mankind.
ALTHOUGH Prof. Lewis died at an age when men usually have hardly more than begun to produce matured work, his name had already become associated with the solution of a most important geological question, and he was recognized as one who had led the science another step forward.
YOUR article upon “ Learning to think,” in the April number of your magazine, treats upon a great need. To make it yet more helpful to those who wish to know how to ask questions, either to awaken thought or to elicit information from others, will you kindly suggest, in a future number, some leading “questions arranged under certain categories,” for further instruction by way of example?
ON another page we print a letter from “A Mother,” whom we are happy to find interested in the subject of our recent editorial article, "Learning to think.” We are not sure that we can fully meet our correspondent’s demand for a series of “questions arranged under certain categories” for the purpose of drawing out thought, seeing that the questions would necessarily vary to a great extent with the subject.
THE comprehensiveness and importance of Mr. Bryce’s book place it with Von Holst’s great work in the first rank of treatises on the political institutions of America. It is not a history, though its statements are elucidated here and there by historical material; it is not a treatise on constitutional law, though the general character and notable features of the Federal and the several State Constitutions are pointed out; its fifteen hundred pages comprise an account of the present condition of the American nation.
In Estray Wreck.—One of the most useful features of the monthly “Pilot Charts,” published by the Hydrographic Office of the Navy Department, is the series comprising tracings of the courses of derelict vessels. It is said that between twenty-five and fortyfive of these peripatetic dangers to navigation are recorded every month in the North Atlantic alone, and the supply is constantly kept up by the fruits of every great storm.
ACCORDING to the “Medecinische Presse,” of Vienna, a Dr. Terc has found a cure for rheumatism in bee-stingings. Having found that every stinging is followed by a swelling up to a point when the body seems to have become hardened against further effect, he tried the stingings on a rheumatic patient.