Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 14.djvu/198

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186
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

tigress. The noble pair of beasts were reclining side by side, the tiger's tail hanging over the side of their couch. The dog, unable to resist the temptation, laid hold of it with his teeth and pulled with a will; and, spite of sundry gentle remonstrances on the part of the owner of the tail, persisted until he elicited a very deep growl of disapproval. Then he let go, sprang upon the tiger's back, curled himself up, and went off to sleep. Such friendships are, it must be owned, liable to come to a tragic ending, like that recorded by an ancient writer, who tells how a lion, a dog, and a bear, lived together for a long time on the most affectionate terms, until the dog, accidentally putting the bear out of temper, had the life put out of his body; whereupon Leo, enraged at losing his favorite, set upon Bruin and made an end of him too.—Chambers Journal.

 
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THE SCIENCE OF EASY-CHAIRS.

THERE is a reason for everything, if we can only find it out; but it is sometimes very hard to discover the reasons of even the very simplest things. Every one who has traveled much, and even those who have merely looked through books of travels, must have been struck by the variety of attitudes assumed by the people of different countries. The Hindoo sits down en the ground with his knees drawn up close to his body, so that his chin will almost rest upon them; the Turk squats down cross-legged; the European sits on a chair; while the American often raises his feet to a level with his head. Nor are the postures assumed by the same people under varying circumstances less diverse. Climate or season, for example, will cause considerable alteration in the posture assumed, as was well shown by Alma-Tadema, in his pictures of the four seasons exhibited in the Academy a year ago. In his representation of "Summer," he painted a woman leaning backward on a ledge, with one leg loosely hanging down, while the other was drawn up so that the foot was on a level with the body. In the picture of "Winter," on the other hand, we saw a figure with the legs drawn up in front of the belly. The reason for these different postures has been explained by Rosenthal. The temperature of the body, as is well known, is kept up and regulated by the circulation of the blood through it, and a great proportion of the blood contained in the whole body circulates in the vessels of the intestines. Now, the intestines are only separated from the external air by the thin abdominal walls, and therefore any change of temperature in the atmosphere will readily act upon them, unless they be guarded by some additional protection. The Hindoos are well aware of this, and they habitually protect the belly by means of a thick shawl or cummerbund, thus guarding themselves against any sudden change of temperature. This precaution is also