Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/182

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170
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

as any others; that no social arrangements can be permanent unless they harmonize with the requirements of social statics and dynamics; and that, in the nature of things, there is an arbiter whose decisions execute themselves.

But this knowledge is only to be obtained by the application of the methods of investigation adopted in physical researches to the investigation of the phenomena of society. Hence, I confess, I should like to see one addition made to the excellent scheme of education propounded for the college, in the shape of provision for the teaching of sociology. For, though we are all agreed that party politics are to have no place in the instruction of the college, yet in this country, practically governed as it is now by universal suffrage, every man who does his duty must exercise political functions. And, if the evils which are inseparable from the good of political liberty are to be checked, if the perpetual oscillation of nations between anarchy and despotism is to be replaced by the steady march of self-restraining freedom, it will be because men will gradually bring themselves to deal with political as they now deal with scientific questions; to be as ashamed of undue haste and partisan prejudice in the one case as in the other; and to believe that the machinery of society is at least as delicate as that of a spinning-jenny, and not more likely to be improved by the meddling of those who have not taken the trouble to master the principles of its action.

In conclusion, I am sure that I make myself the mouth-piece of all present in offering to the venerable founder of the institution, which now commences its beneficent career, our congratulations on the completion of his work; and in expressing the conviction that the remotest posterity will point to it as a crucial instance of the wisdom which natural piety leads all men to ascribe to their ancestors.—Nature.

 
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EXPERIMENTS WITH THE "JUMPERS" OF MAINE.[1]
By GEORGE M. BEARD, M. D.

ABOUT two years ago my attention was directed by my friend Mr. W. A. Croffut to the fact that, in the northern part of Maine, especially in the region of Moosehead Lake, there were to be found a class of people who presented most incredible nervous phenomena.

These people were called in the language of that region "Jumpers" or "Jumping Frenchmen." It was claimed that all, or most of them, were of French descent and of Canadian birth, and that their occupation was mainly that of lumbering in the Maine woods. Mr.

  1. Read before the American Neurological Association, June, 1880.