II.—THE PLACE OF TAXATION IN LITERATURE AND HISTORY.
DAVID A. WELLS
ONE of the great historians of the present century has expressed disappointment at what he terms the “emptiness” of historical study, and accordingly inclines to the opinion that guidance in respect to human affairs in the future is to be sought for in present rather than in past experiences.
PART II. ACTIVITIES OF THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION.
PROF. HENRY CARRINGTON BOLTON
IN our first article we attempted to show the circumstances which led to the founding of the Smithsonian Institution, to trace its growth, and to sketch the peculiar field which it occupies. The latter, however, can well be supplemented by a succinct statement of its condition at the present time, or rather in 1895, the date of the most recent Annual Report.
FROM July 6 to October 31, 1895, both inclusive, a period of one hundred and eighteen days, there were but seven days when brief showers occurred, no one exceeding one tenth of an inch of rain ; and there were four days when prolonged, heavy showers occurred, no one exceeding seven tenths of an inch of rain ; and three days, or parts of twenty-four hours, when the fog condensed and for a brief time a drizzle or “Scotch mist" prevailed.
THAT portion of the Southern States known as the long-leaf pine belt produces the bulk of all the naval stores used in the world. There is an immense stretch of pine forest beginning in North Carolina near the Virginia border, and it follows along the Atlantic coast to Florida, and along the Gulf coast as far as Texas.
IT is much more easy to talk about inheritance than to study it. Of the books and essays which meet us at every turn, few have much basis in research, but those of Francis Galton are among the most notable exceptions. These books, which have appeared at intervals during the last twenty-five years, are not speculations but studies.
DURING the past dozen years scientific writers, American as well as European, have given a certain amount of attention to the part played in human life by imitation, with especial reference to the conditions under which children acquire from parents and associates the salient characters of individual and social habit.
THE first part of the American mainland seen by Columbus was Venezuela. On his third voyage, in 1498, he bore farther to the south than before, and had become convinced that he should not meet with any land on that course when his lookout descried three hilltops in the southwest.
SUGGESTIBILITY, AUTOMATISM, AND KINDRED PHENOMENA.
III. DISORDINATION AND INCOORDINATION.
PROF. WILLIAM ROMAINE NEWBOLD
IN my two former papers I have sketched the conception of any state of consciousness as a coordination of mental elements which might conceivably exist independently, and have endeavored to bring it into relation with our conception of the physical basis of consciousness as a similarly coordinated system of forces to certain elements of which the various discernible elements of consciousness in some sense correspond ; and I have drawn from this fundamental conception two inferences ; (1) That we must think and reason about the mental thing as we would about its physical basis ; we must therefore ascribe to it dynamic properties which will in the long run be found correspondent to the laws of brain-functioning.
IT is only a short time since civilized nations abolished slavery, and already we look back with wonder at our own and other countries, and are barely able to realize that the world could have borne such an unspeakable institution—that it could have steadily progressed while weighted with the breaking load of such a burden.
A CHILD’S first attempts at drawing are pre-artistic and a kind of play, an outcome of the instinctive love of finding and producing semblances of things. Sitting at the table and covering a sheet of paper with line-scribble, he is wholly self-centered, “ amusing himself,” as we say, and caring nothing about the production of “ objective values.”
ALMOST in the exact geographical center of the State of New York there suns itself in the upper valley of a tributary of the Susquehanna a tidy village on which the impoverished fancy of an official map-maker has set the ancient name of Homer. Ancient, indeed, for its region is the village itself.
THE association between architecture, sculpture, and painting is so close that the description of their origins, considered as distinct from one another, is not easy; and those who judge only from the relations under which they are found in the remains of early civilizations are apt to be misled.
ENTHUSIASTIC adherents have compared the principle of natural selection with the principle of gravitation. The comparison is not warranted. In the first place the one is far from having a like cardinal value with the other as a scientific truth ; and in the second place it is not the sole cause of the phenomena to be explained, as Mr. Darwin himself admitted when recognizing the inherited effects of use and disuse.
THE following are substantially the conclusions reached by Drs. J. S. Billings, S. Weir Mitchell, and D. H. Bergey regarding the composition of expired air and its effects upon animal life, which are published in the Smithsonian Contributions.
THE HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FRENCH INSTITUTE.
OUR attention has been drawn to an article by an excellent contributor of our own, Dean Carmichael, of Montreal, which appeared a few months ago in the Canada Educational Monthly, on the subject of “ Religion and Education.” The writer is candid, able, and eminently well-meaning, but we find it impossible, nevertheless, to agree with the views he puts forth, or at least with his main contention.
THE world is always conscious of an addition to its intellectual wealth when a leader in original scientific work writes a book. Men like to hear from the masters, especially when they speak, as Prof. Young does, a language that inspires while it instructs.*
We can hardly conceive a more fascinating subject than the one treated of in this book.* Birds, by their song, their marvelous flight, their mysterious migrations, the independent intelligences among them, which have led in past times to many species becoming the associates of man, offer a most delightful subject for study.
Ackman, C. M. Milk, its Nature and Composition. New York : Macmillan & Co. London : Adam & Charles Black. Pp. 180. $1.25. Agricultural Experiment Stations. Cornell University Station : General Observations on the Care of Fruit Trees, with some Reflections upon Weeds; Notions about the Spraying of Trees, with Remarks on the Canker Worm ; Soil Depletion in Respect to the Care of Fruit Trees.—Iowa Agricultural College : Experiments with New Orchard Fruits, Trees, and Shrubs.—New York Station : Analyses of Commercial Fertilizers collected during the Spring of 1895 ; Comparative Field Test of Commercial Fertilizers used in Raising Potatoes ; The Composition and Use of Fertilizers ; Science applied to Feeding Plants.—United States Department : Bulletin of the North Dakota Weather and Crop Service for November, 1895.
The Anniversary Meeting of the Royal Society.—The anniversary meeting of the Royal Society was held in its apartments at Burlington House, London, on St. Andrew’s Day, Saturday, November 30, 1895. After the delivery of the presidential address by Lord Kelvin, the medals were presented as follows ; The Copley medal to Prof. Karl Weierstrass, for Mem. R. S.
THROUGH the co-operation of some private persons interested in the preservation of species and the Linnæan and other societies of New York, protection has been afforded to the terns on Great Gull Island, Long Island Sound. A sum of money was contributed to employ a gamekeeper, and the lighthouse keeper on Little Gull Island was authorized to act in that capacity.