AMONG the sciences which have served as entering wedges into the heavy mass of ecclesiastical orthodoxy, to cleave it, disintegrate it, and let the light of Christianity into it, none perhaps has done a more striking work than Comparative Philology.
IN acknowledgment of tlie unexpected honor that has been done me in calling me to this chair, I have first to perform the very pleasant duty of saluting the foreign and French scholars who have responded to the invitation of our committee.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF AMERICAN INDUSTRIES SINCE COLUMBUS.
II. IRON MILLS AND PUDDLING-FURNACES.
WILLIAM F. DUKFEE
IN these days of steam-engines, railways, and steam navigation —telegraphs, telephones, and electric lights—it is hard to understand a civilization which in literature and the fine arts has not been surpassed, yet had none of the above-named essentials of modern fast living and rapid work, and which possessed no better methods of manufacturing iron than those already described.
IT is wonderful what a mass of evidence confirmatory of the nebular hypothesis in its broadest sense has been accumulated within the past few years. Most of this new testimony in favor of an old theory has been furnished by Astronomical Photography, that giant that sees the invisible, which has recently risen to the aid of astronomers with the startling suddenness and unexpectedness of the Arab fisherman’s afrite escaping from the despised bottle.
THE rapid increase of natural knowledge, which is the chief characteristic of our age, is effected in various ways. The main army of science moves to the conquest of new worlds slowly and surely, nor ever cedes an inch of the territory gained.
PROFESSOR OF PHYSICS IN THE POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE OF BROOKLYN.
THE problem how to save and store up the enormous amount of natural energy which is daily dissipated in producing natural phenomena has long occupied the attention of scientists. During the last fifteen years this attention has been especially directed toward electricity as an agent.
AS I understand it, we may regard the study of botany as approachable from three points of view. We may speak of three ends to be attained : those of (1) elementary botany as a school-subject of general education ; (2) advanced botany, as a subject of university or academic training, with a view to teaching and research ; (3) special botany, for various purposes in afterlife—e.g., those of foresters, planters, agriculturists, horticulturists, brewers, medical men, timber merchants, etc. This is, of course, a merely aribitrary division for the argument, and not a philosophical classification of the subject-matter of the science of botany.
QUESTIONS concerning the quality or faculty in animals comparable with human reason and the extent to which it is developed in them are much discussed. Mr. Romanes discriminates between those ideas of quality that spring from mere sensuous impressions and those elaborated notions that arise from the more complex associations supplied by mental reflection, and assumes that brutes have a power of thought of the former or inferior order.
IT is a generally recognized fact that whole classes and families of animals, as well as single individuals, frequently are liable to succumb to some influence apparently obnoxious to health, while others, although exposed to the same danger, prove exempt from such injury.
IN every period of American history the influence of New England has been marked and out of proportion to its size and population. In religious thought and activities, in great moral and social movements, in literature and scholarship, in inventive genius and the skilled industries, in the pulpit, at the bar, on the bench, and in legislative halls, New-Englanders have always stood in the front rank and have contributed largely to the worthiest American achievements.
WE have, in our cities, three things that are adverse to the embellishment of our lives : First, we live, as a rule, in hired houses. No one will ornament his house with that which is beautiful, permanent, and costly, if some one that he neither knows nor cares for will, after a few years, enjoy it, and that without paying one farthing as compensation for the outlay.
A MONUMENT of modest size and style, standing, in Yancey County, North Carolina, on the highest point of land in the eastern United States, marks the grave of the man who first determined, by measurement, the culminating point of the Appalachian range—a man, too, whose local fame as a student of natural history, a hardy explorer, and a teacher, was pre-eminent.
IT has been again and again stated, by good authorities, that the American people are the most wasteful upon the face of the earth ; they do not utilize to any extent their health, strength, money, or talents. To any thoughtful mind there is evidence of this on every hand.
OUR correspondent “ K.,” whose letter we publish on another page, is in serious trouble over the difficulty he finds in reconciling the view of morality given by Mr. Spencer, in his Data of Ethics, with the facts of real life. Mr. Spencer, as “K.” understands him, teaches that “the object to be gained by pursuing morality is happiness ” ; while facts teach that morality sometimes calls for the sacrifice of happiness.
IF not the most important book that Mr. Fiske has written, this is, without doubt, one of the most useful. The plan of it is good, the spirit of it is good, the execution of it is good. Lucid arrangement seems to come naturally to Mr. Fiske, and to lucidity of arrangement he is always able to add extreme felicity of expression.
Intelligence in Plants.—Mr. T. D. Ingersoll, of Erie, Pa., describes, in Garden and Forest, a Madeira vine which seemed to exhibit intelligence in its growth. When it had become eighteen inches high it began, from top-heaviness, to fall away from the pot, which stood upon a table, toward the floor.
IN respect to the use of the diamond drill, or an instrument of corresponding effectiveness, by the ancient Egyptians, Mr. W. F. Durfee, having inquired through our consul-general at Cairo, received from Mr. W. Flinders Petrie the following list of objects in which marks of such an instrument may be seen : Base of tube-drill hole, cut too deep in roughing out the statue, between the feet of the diorite statue of Chafra (Kofra), in the Boulak Museum ; sides of two drill-holes, showing on the inside of the sarcophagus at Gizeh ; the marks are near the top, at the north end of the east side, and on the wmst end ; sawcut too deep into the outside of that sarcophagus, on the north end, near the top at the northeast edge ; saw-cut surface beneath the sarcophagus in the second pyramid at Gizeh ; drill-hole with core sticking in it, in the granite lintel of the chamber leading from the southw-est corner of the great hall of the granite temple of Gizeh, the fifth hole.