Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 53.djvu/252

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238
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

heavy discount, they never repudiated, as did Queen Elizabeth and Philip II, a single obligation. While the Jews were most cruelly persecuted by the militant exemplars of piety elsewhere, they welcomed them. Like Athens before her degradation by war, they welcomed also every alien laborer and every product of alien industry. Protection of their own industries was a form of foreign and domestic aggression to which they never resorted in the hour of their direst needs. Among them the relations of the sexes offered the most striking contrast with those of Prussia, Italy, France, and Spain of the same period. " They hold adultery in horror," says Guicciardini. " Their women are exceedingly circumspect, and are constantly allowed much freedom. They go alone to make visits, and even journeys, without evil report." It was in industrial Holland that labor received its most generous reward, and the poor and sick their most solicitous care; it was there, too, that crime was the most rare and its punishment the most humane. Her prisons are described as more like schools than jails, and their inmates as oftener foreigners than natives. It was, finally, of this wonderful creation of peace and honest toil that Thorold Rogers said that " the debt which civilization and liberty owes " to her " is greater than that which is due to any other race."

III.

Setting forth the business of physical science, Prof. Ernst Mach says : " It endeavors by comprehensive and thorough description to make the waiting for new experience unnecessary ; it seeks to save us the trouble of experimentation by making use ... of the known interdependence of phenomena, according to which, if one kind of event occurs, we may be sure beforehand that a certain other event will occur." That is precisely the business of social science. Only as it serves that purpose has it any title to the name it bears, or any value as a guide to human conduct. By a study of social phenomena, it seeks to discover their interdependence, and then to frame such a comprehensive statement of that interdependence as to permit with- out further study or experiment the prediction of the results of any dominant form of social activity. But such a statement is to be found in the induction of Mr. Spencer that if the dominant activity of society be militant, the thoughts, feelings, and institutions of men will be those of barbarism ; if it be pacific, they will be those of civilization; or, if there be a commingling of the two, as is now the case in Europe and America, they will be a compromise. That is to say, in proportion as society is militant or pacific, in precisely that degree will there be freedom or despotism, honesty or dishonesty, humanity or inhumanity, morality or immorality. As I have shown, no part of