Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 1.djvu/560

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544
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

five stars are found to be all receding from the earth at the rate of about 30 miles per second.

This result at once illustrates the interesting nature of Dr. Huggins's discoveries, and affords promise of future revelations even more interesting. The theories hitherto accepted respecting the constitution of the stellar universe have been tried against the views recently propounded, with a result decidedly in favor of the latter. We may feel assured that the matter will not rest here. A simple and decisive piece of evidence, such as that we have described, will invite many to examine afresh the theories respecting the stellar heavens which have so long been received unquestioningly. The theory of star-drift is associated with others equally novel, and which admit equally well of being put to test. We venture to predict that, before many years have passed, there will be recognized in the star-depths a variety of constitution and a complexity of arrangement startlingly contrasted with the general uniformity of structure recognized in the teachings at present accepted.—Spectator.

 
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THE UNCONSCIOUS ACTION OF THE BRAIN.
By WM. B. CARPENTER, M. D., LL. D., F. R. S.

MANY of you, I doubt not, will remember that I had the pleasure of addressing you in this hall some months ago, with reference to researches which I had a share in carrying on into the Depths of the Ocean, when I endeavored to give you some insight into the conditions of the sea-bottom as regards temperature, pressure, animal life, and the deposits now in process of formation upon it.

Now, I am going this evening to carry you into quite a different field of inquiry—an inquiry which I venture to think I have had some share in myself promoting, into what goes on in the Depths of our own Minds. And I think I shall be able to show you that some practical results of great value in our own mental culture, as training and as discipline, may be deduced from this inquiry. I shall begin with an anecdote that was related to me after a lecture which I gave upon this subject about five years ago, at the Royal Institution, in London. As I was coming out from the lecture-room, a gentleman stopped me and said, "A circumstance occurred recently in the north of England, which I think will interest you, from its affording an exact illustration of the doctrine which you have been setting forth to-night." The illustration was so apposite, and leads us so directly into the very heart of the inquiry, that I shall make it, as it were, the text for the commencement of this evening's lecture.[1] The manager of a bank in a certain

  1. A lecture, delivered in the Hulme Town Hall, Manchester.