Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 28.djvu/179

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THE REFRACTING TELESCOPE.

earned wages recklessly for the gratification of his momentary desires or fancies. Such a man is liable to be largely at the mercy of his employers. Although wages may be at starvation-point, he can not lake his labor to a better market elsewhere. When times are hard, he and his family are likely to suffer. If the great majority of our working-men could be persuaded to save something, however small the sum, each week, the habits of economy and thrift thus acquired would be a great gain to the nation: pauperism and crime would decrease; the comfort, self-respect, and independence of the people would increase; and there would be fewer interruptions to the business and industries of the country growing out of troubles between laborers and employers, for the laborers would become more steady, trustworthy, and independent, less liable to rush recklessly into strikes, and would be less at the mercy of an unfair employer.

Were a system of postal savings-banks established and well conducted, there is no doubt that large numbers of our laboring classes would soon become depositors of small sums. Many working-men now have great difficulty in keeping securely money which they wish to save; others often spend all their earnings for drink or the gratification of their whims or fancies, when they would not do so if they had some perfectly safe and convenient place to deposit the money where it would bring them a little interest, and the fact of their having it be kept a secret. The masses of the people have the greatest confidence in the Government, and would gladly intrust their small savings to its keeping, provided such a system of savings depositories were devised, with such men in charge of it as would command their confidence. It is a question whether at the present time our Congressmen could do BO much for the working-man in any other way as by providing him with this means of helping himself.


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THE REFRACTING TELESCOPE.

By CHARLES P. HOWARD.

THOSE who have looked through a large telescope under favorable atmospheric conditions, at one of those immense cyclones which occasionally break out on the surface of the sun, have derived from what they saw a very good idea of the origin of sunlight. They have seen that the brightest portion of the surface of the sun consists of columns of intensely hot metallic vapors, averaging about three hundred miles in diameter, rising from its interior and glowing with extreme brilliancy, from the presence of clouds formed, probably, of shining particles of carbon precipitated from its vapor as the tops of the columns reach the surface and lose heat by expansion and radia-