Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 19.djvu/90

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80
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

able that persons noted for manifestations of motiveless malice are often reputed to be incipiently insane.

All forms of envy are magnified by the instant prominence which they occupy in thought. In an orchestra of ten instruments the harmony of nine may be overpowered by one that persists in playing out of tune. The presence of envy and malice in one person may cause us to lose sight of its absence in ninety-nine. We may therefore conclude that cynicism, which is the perception of the dark side of everything, can never become a great destructive force, because it can not accumulate power. It must ever remain a standing threat, a stimulus to right thinking. The higher forms of power in men are positive and not passive. Superstition and the darkness of cynicism must be swept away by the evolution of intelligence.

 
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SOME PREHISTORIC VESSELS.

A VERY remarkable archæological discovery has recently attracted the attention of the scientific world in Scandinavia, and has become a matter of popular concern in Norway, where every one is interested in the ancient and glorious national traditions. The baths of Sandefiord are situated in the southwestern part of the fiord of Christiania. The road from that place to the ancient city of Tansberg passes near the village of Gogstad, not far from which is a tumulus or funeral-mound, which has been long known in the local traditions under the name of Kangshaug, or the Mound of the King. This heap, which is nearly fifty metres, or more than one hundred and sixty feet, in diameter, rises in a gentle slope from the level of the plains and meadows which extend from the fiord to the foot of the mountains, and is covered with a verdant sod. According to the legend, a powerful king had chosen the spot as the place where he should finally rest, surrounded by his horses and his hunting-dogs; and his most precious treasures had been buried near his body. Superstition and the fear of avenging spirits had for centuries prevented every kind of examination of the tomb, but the investigating zeal of our age ventured to penetrate the mystery. Excavations were made, and brought forth the discovery of an entire viking's war-vessel, and the grave of the unknown chief by its side.

The sons of the peasant on whose land the tumulus was situated began to dig into it in January and February, 1880; they turned away a spring which they found in digging, and soon afterward met with building-timbers. Wisely, they suspended their labors to bring them to the attention of the society at Christiania for the preservation of ancient monuments. This society took charge of the subsequent