Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/265
THE ANIMAL WORLD OF WELL-WATERS.
them, in all its crudeness and nakedness, cleared from the rags with which the cowardice of contemporary agnosticism has obscured it; and they will then have to choose one alternative or the other. What their choice will be I do not venture to prophesy; but I will venture to call them happy if their choice prove to be this: To admit frankly that their present canon of certainty, true so far as it goes, is only the pettiest part of truth, and that the deepest certainties are those which, if tried by this canon, are illusions. To make this choice a struggle would be required with pride, and with what has long passed for enlightenment; and yet, when it is realized what depends on the struggle, there are some at least who will think that it must end successfully. • The only way by which, in the face of science, we can ever logically arrive at a faith in life, is by the commission of what many at present will describe as an intellectual suicide. I do not for a moment admit that such an expression is justifiable, but, if I may use it provisionally, and because it points to the temper at present prevalent, I shall be simply pronouncing the judgment of frigid reason in saying that it is only through the grave and gate of death that the spirit of man can pass to its resurrection. — Fortnightly Review.
By Dr. OTTO ZACHARIAS.
"WHAT! can it be that, in the well from which we obtain our drinking-water, there are animals?" This question will undoubtedly suggest itself to one or more of my readers on seeing the heading I have given to these lines. Some of them perhaps may, in view of the existence of a "well-fauna," take a solemn pledge of total abstinence so far as the drinking of water is concerned, and hereafter quench their thirst in something else. Others may perhaps, seemingly in jest, and yet withal in truth, seriously enough ascribe a catarrh of the stomach, contracted by drinking water that was too cold, not to their own carelessness, but to some little animal which they fancy they have swallowed. Others still will play the part of skeptics, and perchance, holding a glass of water from their well up to the light, peer critically into it and exclaim: "The story is merely another fable of the scientists; we shall not believe in the existence of these creatures until we see them."
Nor can any one be blamed for taking this view of the matter. However, right here, the fact should be mentioned that it is not the clear upper portion of the well-water that contains the animal organisms, but that they occur in the lower strata, close to