Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 30.djvu/540

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

wonder of anthropoid apes or troglodytes that could be called by no other name than fetichism.

It may, at least, be said in conclusion, that the absence of extant evidence of such a stage of thought no more proves that it never existed .than the absence of the bones of the missing link proves that men are not descended from non-human ancestors. All the negative evidence, then, that Mr. Spencer has so laboriously collected for the annihilation of Mr. Frederic Harrison, has no conclusive bearing on this question.

Note.—The conclusions of this article are confirmed by a variety of arguments and instances collected by Dr. Fritz Schultze, in "Fetichism: a Contribution to Anthropology and the History of Religion." Chapter III, on "The Relation between the Savage Mind and its Object," is of special value in this connection.

It may be further noticed that the evidences of fetichistic habits of thought among children are daily accumulating. In "Mind," vol. xli, page 150, for instance, Mr. E. M. Stevens relates the following anecdote of his son:

"He personifies the sun in an amusing way. One day, when he was about two years and two months old, he was sitting on the floor in a great temper over some trifle. He looked up and saw the sun through the window. He suddenly stopped crying, and said angrily, 'Sun not look at Hennie!' He said this two or throe times, and then, finding the sun persistently looked at him, he changed his tone to one pathetically imploring, and said, ' Please, Sun, not look at poor Hennie!" I have noticed this adjuration of the sun, when he has been crying, two or three times since." Is it to be supposed that this little two-year old boy believed in a ghost or spirit, apart from and different from the bright sun that was dazzling his eyes?—G. P.


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MISGOVERNMENT OF GREAT CITIES.

By FRANK P. CRANDON.

[Concluded.]

SERIOUS as are the evils under which municipal governments are laboring, great as are the embarrassments growing out of our conservatism, the opposition of vested rights, and the clamor of charlatans and demagogues, to whom the establishment of a thoroughly honest and efficient government would be the loss of their entire stock in trade, and difficult of application as are the principles on which we must rest our plans, still I do not believe that the present situation is hopeless or remediless. I found my opinion on the conviction that a large majority of the people desire good government, and that, when the matter can be presented to them in an intelligible manner, they will give a cordial support to the measures by which it can be secured.

The first work, then, of those who are interested in the question of municipal reform is, after a thorough study of the subject, to formulate a system of city government which will secure all the legitimate results for which municipal governments are organized, while it reduces to the minimum the opportunities for official malfeasance.

I am informed that in Boston there is an association of gentlemen