XX.—FROM THE DIVINE ORACLES TO THE HIGHER CRITICISM.
ANDREW DICKSON WHITE
THE great sacred books of the world are the most precious of human possessions. They embody the deepest searchings into the most vital problems of humanity in all its stages, the naïve guesses of the world's childhood, the opening conceptions of its youth, the more fully rounded beliefs of its maturity.
ALREADY, in Chapter II of the preceding part, have been given illustrations of the general truth that in rude tribes it is difficult to distinguish between the priest and the medicineman. Their respective functions are commonly fulfilled by the same person.
IT was while the Great Ice King still ruled over all America from the pole to the middle United States that Lake Lahontan and Lake Bonneville spread their waters over hundreds of square miles of our western territory ; Lahontan where we now have the sage plains and alkali sinks of Nevada, and Bonneville covering the greater part of Utah west of the Wasatch Mountains, but now reduced to Sevier, Utah, and Great Salt Lakes, the last shallow remnants of a once mighty inland sea.
THE efficiency of any general system of transportation necessarily depends upon its safety, speed, and cost, and of these the last is clearly of paramount importance, for, unless charges can be made sufficiently moderate, no means of transportation can be generally available to the public, even though it possesses in the highest degree each of the other qualities.
IN the soft air of a summer night, when fireflies are flashing their lanterns over the fields, the stars do not sparkle and blaze like those that pierce the frosty skies of winter. The light of Sirius, Aldebaran, Rigel, and other midwinter brilliants possesses a certain gemlike hardness and cutting quality, while Antares and Vega, the great summer stars, and Arcturus, when he hangs westering in a July night, exhibit a milder radiance, according with the character of the season.
EVERY thoughtful observer of both the popular and the scientific movements of the day must have noticed the frequent lack of harmony or co-operation between them. Such lack of co-operation, if not of harmony, is well illustrated in the woman question.
WITH the extension of information concerning the scope, purposes, and adaptations of the movements exhibited by plants, the determination of the nature of the specific forms of irritability under which these movements are induced becomes a question of very great interest.
IN the Principles of Sociology (Volume I) Herbert Spencer draws a sharp and clear distinction between two types of society—the militant and the industrial. Leaving out of consideration the analogy between the animal and the social organism in the development of the various systems—the regulating, the sustaining, and the distributing—it will be readily conceded that from the view of sociology the last of these two types—the industrial—stands highest in the scale of development as implying voluntary co-operation among the members of the organization with more of individual liberty; while the first, the militant type, implying compulsory co-operation under a more or less despotic military government with less of individual liberty, is decidedly nearer to the early predatory state.
EARLY on the morning of September 10th I left Antananarivo for Mojanga. My chief reason for not returning to Tamatave was that I preferred to see new country; and the second, that I wished to visit some gold mines worked by a Frenchman, named Suberbie, who had a concession of a large tract about halfway between the capital and the coast.
FANNY D. BERGEN. WHEN happy boys and girls sing, "Here we go round the mulberry bush," or "Oats, peas, and barley grow," and gracefully step time to the words as they circle round and round, they dream not that in these and other ring games they often keep alive survivals of ancient sacred ceremonies.
IN Philadelphia, early in the present century, there was a strongly developed taste for natural-history pursuits, and eager collectors of the local fauna naturally became so acquainted and thrown together that the formation of a club and then the organization of the Academy of Natural Sciences were the logical outcome.
DEAR SIR: I regret that I do not see the Monthly regularly. A friend has recently called my attention to your review of the Greeks to Darwin, and I write to ask you to consider the following points: EVOLUTION IX 1858. DEP~&1~r~ENr o~ BIOLOGY, COLUMBIA COLLEGE, NEW YoI~K, April 11, 1895. Reviewer of the Greelce to Darwin: - The history ends absolutely with the publication of the theory of Natural Selection by Darwin and Wallace in 1858, therefore has no bearing upon the subsequent development of the evolution theory.
WHEN in the seventies Prof. J. H. Gilmore introduced the study of anthropology into the curriculum of the University of Rochester he was probably the only instructor in the subject in America. Since then the science has made rapid progress.
DEGENERATION. By MAX NORDAU. D. Ap pleton & Co. 1895. Price, S3.50. SEVERE diseases require severe remedies, and the rapidly increasing tolerance of literary, artistic, dramatic, and musical works that have a tendency to apotheosize various vices and defects of the higher mental faculties, demands the trenchant criticism that this volume affords.
Agricultural Experiment Stations. Reports and Bulletins. Connecticut: Eighteenth Annual Report. Parts II, III, and IV. Pp. 224.-Cornell University: Peach Yellows. B. L. H Bailey. Pp. 20.—Massachusetts: Nos. 54, 55, and 57. Meteorological Summaries and Analyses of Food, Fodder, and Manures.
Prof. James Dwight Dana, the veteran American geologist. died at his home in New Haven, Conn., of disease of the heart, April 14. He had been apparently in good health, manifesting no signs of weakness other than by taking his walks less frequently, but on the morning before his death was attacked with a nervous fluttering of the heart, which, being not uncommon with him, was not regarded as serious.
THE economic value of fossils, says State Geologist Charles R. Keyes in his report on the Palæontology of Missouri, is commonly entirely overlooked. To the laity usually these remains of life are merely curious ; to the specialist the interest in the ancient organisms is largely scientific.
GENERAL JOHN NEWTON, a distinguished officer, Chief of Engineers of the United States Army, and an eminent engineer, best known, perhaps, from his services in clearing the channel of Hell Gate from its dangerous rocks, died at his home in this city, May 1st, after an illness of a few weeks, from chronic rheumatism.