Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 17.djvu/420

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406
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

help along the study of natural history, you may say that I can furnish any reasonable number at a cost of, say, two cents each, which I would have to pay boys for collecting.  Yours truly,

E. A. Gastman,
Superintendent of Schools. 
 Decatur, Illinois, May 18, 1880.
 

 

ANIMAL AFFECTION.

Messrs. Editors.

A story recently related to me regarding a remarkable display of affection in a pet monkey is so similar to one which I have just read in "The Popular Science Monthly" for March, that I am induced to send it to you as corroborative of the truth or probability of the latter.

An officer of the United States Revenue Marine Service, and now upon this station, informs me that several years ago he owned a monkey which was very intelligent, and became exceedingly fond of him. Returning home one day after a brief absence, the officer saw that the monkey was unwell, but could not account for its illness. It seemed to be in great suffering, but at the same time showed its joy at seeing his master. The latter raised him in his arms, and the monkey, taking him by each of his whiskers, looked into the face of his human friend and kissed him two or three times. After he had done this, the monkey fell back and died almost immediately.

It is reasonable to suppose that the animal had some knowledge of his approaching end, and intended his embrace as a final farewell to his master. The subject of the intellectual capacities of animals is too large a one for the limits of this letter; I will, therefore, do no more than call your attention to this instance of almost human feeling. E. H. N.

 Port Townsend, Washington Territory,
 May 8, 1880.
 


EDITOR'S TABLE.

GOETHE AND THE ARTISTIC STUDY OF NATURE.

GOETHE, the German poet, was the author of a work, in two volumes with an atlas, on the subject of colors, in which he put forth an elaborate theory of his own upon that subject. It appears that fragments only of this treatise have been translated into English, and, as its views have never attracted much attention or become generally known, Professor Tyndall has done well in recently devoting a lecture to an account of them. We print this admirable address, which our readers will be sure to find entertaining and instructive. For, though the doctrines put forth by Goethe on chromatics are not in themselves important and have no rank as contributions to the science of color, yet they have an interest as the products of a genius now everywhere confessed, though as yet but imperfectly interpreted by the critics. That he was a man of a many-sided nature, of perfected culture, and in various lines of a lucid insight, is not to be denied; and these traits give great importance to the problem of the workings of his mind in whatever direction it was systematically exercised. The poet Bayard Taylor, the successful translator of "Faust," declared that he considered Goethe "to have had the most grandly-proportioned and full-orbed intellect that has yet appeared among men"; but Professor Tyndall is inclined to rank him, on the contrary, among those who may be described as mental "hemispheres; or, at least, spheres with a segment sliced away—full-orbed on one side, but flat upon the other." In what this incompleteness consisted is clearly shown in Professor Tyndall's address. Goethe's mental pre-eminence was on the æsthetic, imaginative, and literary side, and this so pre-dominated as to disqualify him from entering into the true scientific method of the study of Nature. He held to the competency of poetic and artistic insight alone to discern the truth in natural things; he tried it, and achieved a partial success, which naturally confirmed