Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/280

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268
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

perstructure of which judges have gone on building, creating a vast fabric of case-law, so voluminous and unwieldy that no mortal man, no matter how great his ability or attainments, can within the limits of human life fully master it. To remedy this, the evolution of the science of law has developed a method of collecting together, from the vast libraries of reported ca es and judge-made laws, the settled principles therein contained, and of reducing them to a carefully arranged and harmonious system known as codes. This codification, when enacted by the Legislature, becomes the written law of the land, and takes the place of the uncertain elastic line of precedents founded on cases, and which, resting in the "bosom of judges," might be colored by their prejudices or warped by their interests or passions. If these views are correct, instead of unwritten law, either fundamental or statutory, furnishing the best means of promoting the ends of justice, the reverse is true, and the science of jurisprudence must advance along the paths of written laws, inflexible in their terms, and from which there is no escape other than through prescribed and appropriate methods of amendment.

 Charles E. Street.
 Huntington, Suffolk County, N.Y.,
 March 26, 1883.
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RECLAMATION.

Messrs. Editors:

In the April number of "The Popular Science Monthly," page 795, Mr. H. H. Bates cites Maxwell's article, in the "Philosophical Magazine" for 1877, page 453. More than five years before the publication of Maxwell's note, I had shown ("Proc. Am. Phil. Soc," xii, 394) that the ratio of the vivial of wave-propagation to the vivial of its oscillating particles is 5:9, and that the ratio is determined by the secondary center of oscillation between the ethereal center of gravity and the ethereal center of linear oscillation. Maxwell gave no reason for his deduction, and his executors have been unable to find any among his papers.

Pliny Earle Chase. 
 Haverford College, Pa., April 7, 1883.
 

 


EDITOR'S TABLE.

SCIENCE, LITERATURE, AND THEOLOGY.

THE discussion of the relations of these great elements of thought proceeds vigorously. "Line upon line and precept upon precept" accumulate; while the last instructive line respecting science and literature comes from the London "Times," and the last weighty precept concerning science and theology from the President of Harvard University.

In connection with the meeting of the civil engineers, held recently in London, the "Times" of that city makes the following significant declarations, which it is desirable to place upon permanent record, both as the deliberate utterance of an influential organ of public opinion and because of the incontestable truth of the statement itself. The "Times" says:

"Meetings such as that of Saturday evening remind us not merely of the services of a particular branch of science to mankind, but of the remarkable determination of human activity to scientific pursuits which is characteristic of the present age. Literature no longer holds the place it once did in the minds of men; nor does it command, as it once did, the services of the most powerful intelligences. The protest against an education wholly or chiefly consisting of the study of the classics is the result of a profound change in the conditions of life. Men have not deliberately and as a result of abstract reasoning discarded one set of studies in favor of another. On the contrary, they have discovered, often to their great chagrin, that a complete intellectual displacement has taken place. That which was taken up under protest, as a thing too closely connected with utilitarian pursuits to be quite worthy of a man of intellect, has now pressed into its service tho chief intellectual power of the country. The tide of intellectual effort sets strongly in the direction of science, just as at an earlier period it set in the direction of letters. The teachers and leaders of the day, the