Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/298

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


286

��THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

��and where, as sometimes, though seldom, happens, it must be sought in actual over- work ; where alcohol or drugs have assist- ed the decay of nervous force, and where asceticism, tried as a remedy, has seriously injured the resisting power, diminishing the fuel, till every day threatens to empty the store. They differ considerably, we are told, in their practice, some having a lingering faith in the milder narcotics, which others have lost ; and some in sleep by itself, which others think is only perfectly recu- perative when it comes unsought, . . . but they all agree in recommending perfect 4 rest.' Their patients, who have instinct to guide them, and some memories of quick recovery during accidental or incidental lulls in life, always agree with them, but always start the question, how the rest is to be ob- tained." The distinguished patient can not find it anywhere in the land, for he is pur- sued wherever he goes by telegrams and letters, and callers, and newspaper gossip ; and the only remedy, which some have he- roically tried, is to go out to sea, where one can not be followed up ; but this is often decidedly inconvenient. So, let the pro- fession, and society, and the newspapers establish the rule that, when a distinguished man seeks rest for a period, he shall not be interrupted in it.

Room onongh in the World yet. Mr.

R. Giffen, an English statist, has taken up the Malthusian cry that the world is filling up too fast, and has uttered his apprehen- sion that all inhabitable countries will soon have all the population they can hold and then what will mankind do ? The " Spec- tator" answers him with arguments very like those which M. Fouill6e has used with so much skill and effect in his articles on " Scientific Philanthropy." The laws of in- crease of population do not work as the Malthusians fear they will, but have ways of their own that it is hard to calculate upon. There is still, and will be for a long time, room enough in the world for all candidates for the privilege of living upon it. The United States still receives and finds homes for all who come unless they come from China and has a little room left. The State of New York, with five millions of population, has capacity, according to the

��standard that prevails in Suffolk, England, for thirty millions. The Dominion of Can- ada might hold fifty millions in comfort, without neighbors ever visiting each other on foot ; and British Columbia has room " for twenty millions of happy people." Then, when North America is filled up, South America offers vast expanses that are not only not occupied, but are in reality not ex- plored, of which Brazil has room for all Europe. Australia could support forty mill- ions in its habitable belt ; and Africa who yet can begin to guess at its capacity ? In the mean time, the population of Ireland is diminishing, and the failure of the French to increase excites more apprehension than any fact which is brought to the notice of their economists.

Amcrieanitis. Sir Charles W. Dilke, in his " Greater Britain," thought he noticed a tendency in the Caucasian native American to acquire the red Indian type of physi- ognomy. Mr. W. Mattieu Williams echoes this opinion, and has cited several pieces of evidence to show that a change in the direc- tion mentioned is going on, and that it is a process of desiccation produced by the dry- ness of our climate. Mr. R. A. Proctor as- serts that during his three visits to America he lost about thirty pounds in weight, which he recovered on returning home. Mr. Wil- liams's own son, after residing for some time in this country, became thin, lank- jawed, and sallow, " displaying all the char- acteristic symptoms of what I can not re- frain from calling acute Americanitis," 1 but began to recover immediately after return- ing home. On one occasion, at the house of the late George Combe, at Edinburgh, some family portraits were brought out, in- cluding those of members who had remained at home, and photographs of members who had emigrated to America a generation before, and with them a portrait of Black Hawk. " We placed the chief on one side, the Edinburgh portraits on the other, and those of the descendants of the American emigrants between, and all agreed that the deviations from the original family type were in a direction toward that of the red Indian. Mr. Combe maintains that this is generally the case, and I agree with him in re- garding the typical ' native American ' that

�� �