Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 27.djvu/75
A SCIENTIFIC VIEW OF THE COAL QUESTION.
books is not, I take it, due to any popular faith that the remedy he proposes—the public confiscation of land—will right the wrongs of poverty. The consciences of the people are shocked at the immorality of the proposal. Mr. George's vast audience is attentive because he states very forcibly the anxieties and dangers which beset bread-winners amid the contingencies of the modern industrial world. When, from beyond the sea, we hear of nihilistic vengeance, socialistic uprising, and dynamite plotting, it would seem that the safe-guards of civilization against a relapse into barbarism are less secure than is commonly imagined. Do not all these dangers spring from lack of sympathy between plenty and want? Not simply between plenty and want in matters of goods and chattels, but in the better things of culture and refinement. The generous man who will correct with kindness the faulty arguments of a neighbor less endowed than himself, who will cultivate in the youth of his acquaintance love of literature, of art, and of the natural sciences, is doing as much to strengthen the bonds of society as when he shares his income with the destitute and forsaken.
When I was in Ireland, four years ago, I heard many causes assigned for the prevailing discontent. My informants averred that, not less than the injustice of the landlords, had the arrogant and unsympathetic manners of many of them, and of many of their agents, served to alienate the people. In the development and satisfaction of the sympathies, let me repeat, lies the chief hope of establishing a true brotherhood among men.
Seeking happiness as our aim, we declare knowledge, and obedience to that knowledge, to be its means, and freedom its condition. The cultivation of the heart must receive our attention, not less than the improvement and equipment of the brain, if our lives are to be worthy, useful, and happy.
By G. GORE.
IT is well known that our stock of coal is not an infinite quantity, and can not last an infinite period of time. Different authorities, and those who have investigated the subject, including a royal commission, have assigned different lengths of time during which our supply is likely to last; and, according to the most reliable authorities, it can not be much less than one hundred nor much more than two hundred and fifty years.
Our abundant store of coal and its application to industrial purposes have been among the largest causes of our wealth and progress. The value of coal for those purposes depends essentially upon the fact