Popular Science Monthly/Volume 38/April 1891/Popular Miscellany

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Popular Science Monthly Volume 38 April 1891  (1891) 
Popular Miscellany
 

POPULAR MISCELLANY.

Photographs in Aid of Road Improvement. — The New York and Connecticut divisions of the League of American Wheel-men have united in offering three prizes, of $50, $30, and $20 in gold, for collections of not less than three photographs showing the need of improved roads in the United States. The circular sent out by the committee states that the kind of pictures wanted are such as show a farmer's wagon and team hub-deep and knee-deep in a muddy road, break-downs caused by rough or muddy roads or steep grades, and, for contrast, those showing teams hauling loads POPULAR MISCELLANY.

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��over smooth, hard-surfaced roads. By this action the bicycle-riders show a readiness to do their share toward securing improve- ments that are important to all users of roads. Competitors' blanks and particulars will be sent by Isaac B. Potter, 278 Potter Building, New York, or Charles L. Burdette, Hartford, Conn. The competition closes May 1, 1891.

New Metric Standards. Prof. Menden- hall exhibited at the last meeting of the American Association exact copies of the new metric standards received by the United States Government from the International Board of Weights and Measures. The stand- ards, when received, were opened formally in the presence of the President and Secre- taries of State and the Treasury and sixteen specially invited scientific men, and duly cer- tified to, as was done with the standard troy pound during the administration of John Quincy Adams in 1828. The meter is a rod with H cross-section, made of an alloy of platinum and iridium. In making these standards for the various governments, two thirds of all the iridium known in the world was used. The extreme delicacy and exact- ness of the measurement work done upon the standards was illustrated by saying that when two of the standard kilogrammes were balanced against two similar masses, if one of the masses on one side of the balance was placed on top of the other mass, the balance would be destroyed. In other words, raising the mass of one kilogramme through less than two inches made a difference in the at- traction of the earth readily observed.

Some North Dakota Mounds. Mr. Henry Montgomery, between 1883 and 1889, exca- vated and explored thirty-nine ancient arti- ficial mounds in North Dakota. They con- sisted of one beacon mound, one well-marked sacrificial mound and another not so well marked, and thirty-six burial mounds. The burial mounds were of two kinds. The or- dinary burial mound consisted of a circular, rounded, or conical heap of earth, mostly rich, black soil from the prairie, clothed with grass, and rising generally to a height of several feet above the surrounding level. One or more vaults occur in each, in which human skeletons and various implements,

��ornaments, trinkets, etc., are found. A sin- gle vault is near the center ; two or more vaults are found eccentric in situation, and at varying distances from one another. The vault is a circular, well-like pit, having a calcareous bottom and wall, and often also a calcareous covering. In digging for the vault which was done systematically, a foot at a time, the level being carefully preserved wood was found at the depth of about a foot, consisting of poles or young trees, varying in diameter from three to ten inches, charred at their ends and over the greater part of their surfaces. The skeleton was generally found in a crouching posture, with back against the wall and face toward the center. The second kind of burial mound is distinguished by having no wood and no burial chambers, and in the bones being broken and scattered. A third kind of mound, containing a layer of clay that seems to overlie many human skeletons, is hardly distinctly enough defined to be constituted a separate class. A well-defined sacrificial mound was explored by the author on the south side of Devil's Lake. Another mound, somewhat resembling this, was opened near Sweetwater Lake in July, 1889. A beacon mound in Beacon County was explored in September, 188*7. The mounds are situated on high ridges and hills, composed often of drift clays and bowlders, and sometimes of gravel and sands.

Prehistoric Traps. Some curious wood- en machines fished up from European peat- bogs were described by Dr. Robert Munro, in the British Association, as probably pre- historic otter and beaver traps. Two of them, which were taken as typical, were found in the great' Laybach Moor, in the vicinity of the famous group of lake-dwell- ings there under investigation. The more perfect of the two was made of a solid piece of oak thirty-two inches long, twelve inches wide, and four inches thick. It tapered a lit- tle at both ends, and contained a rectangular hole in the middle, nine inches long and five inches wide, for a valve, which was worked by pivots projecting into corresponding holes in the framework. The valves were freely movable when pushed upward, but the mo- tion was arrested a little short of the per- pendicular by the slanting shape of their

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��after-edges, so that when left to themselves they always fell down, and so closed the aperture. Somewhat similar machines have been found in Ireland, north Germany, Styr- ia, and Italy, and their character has been the subject of discussion. They are usually regarded as traps, and it is remarked that all the examples from Italy, Ireland, and Laybach were found in bogs which in earlier times were lakes. If they were really traps, they could be used only in water, where the animal could insert its head from below ; and, among amphibious animals, the otter and beaver are the only ones to which all the conditions involved in a trap theory would apply.

The Qualifications of a Good Norse.

" Now in what," asks Dr. Hal C. Wyman, in an essay on The Training of Nurses, " shall the ideal nurse be trained ? She should have a good education. She need not be schooled in mathematics or philosophy, poetry or sci- ence ; but she must have a good common- school education that will enable her to read any instructions that may be given her, or left with her, in writing; to make records of the condition of the patient, and to write orders for those who may be subject to her. . . . She must be fully acquainted with the English and the metrical system of weights and measures, and she ought to be a good reader, sufficiently well acquainted with the art of elocution to read various selections for the entertainment of her patient. One of the most interesting scenes of hospital life I ever witnessed was that of a Gray Nun in a ward of paralytic and demented patients, reading the news of the day. The soft modulations of her voice, the rapt attention of her listeners, and the agreeable contrast to the listless, weary air of the patients in an adjoining ward I shall never forget." Not only should there be trained nurses in large cities and in connection with large hos- pitals, but they are needed " in communities where there are no large hospitals, in com- munities where there are no hospitals at all, and there ought to be some means of train- ing them on the ground where they are needed. Every county, nearly, has its or- ganization for the medical care of the sick poor. That class, more frequently than any other, needs the tender and supporting min-

��istrations of the nurse. Why not, wher- ever there are physicians employed by the county, have the county physician, with the aid of the superintendents of the poor, or- ganize a school for the training of nurses ? "

Reversion, or Arrested Development.

In a paper in opposition to the doctrine of reversion to a former type, Miss Layard said, in the British Association, that in consider- ing the subject of linear evolution the great importance of a clear understanding of the laws of reversion is apparent ; for, if it can be positively proved that structures common to lower groups occasionally make their appear- ance in man through this means, a strong point has been gained. It is logically certain that there can not be a return to a state which has not once existed. But if, on the other hand, such appearances can be traced to an arrest during the process of develop- ment, or to a sport, the phenomenon shows no connection between higher and lower groups. If we carefully divide positive cases of arrested development and sports from those which may be, strictly speaking, con- sidered to have true appearances of rever- sion, the number diminishes enormously. Perhaps the most important point to be ascertained is as to the limit of time after which reversion to an earlier type becomes impossible. If there be no limit, then it may be a matter of surprise that reversion is not more constant in man.

Storage Reservoirs for the Mississippi.

Captain Eads's scheme of jetties and all other plans for improving the Mississippi River by tinkering with the channel are con- demned by Mr. Jacques W. Redway, in a pamphlet on The Physical Geography of the Mississippi River, as likely to work more mis- chief in tlie end than they remedy. The au- thor, on the other hand, advocates a plan embodying the storage of the surplus water that accumulates during the spring floods. This will both lessen the volume of the fresh- ets that occur at the breaking up of the win- ter season, and also furnish a supply to be drawn from during the low stage of summer and fall. The storage reservoirs in construc- tion at the present time are mainly the natu- ral basins at the head of the Mississippi proper Chippewa, St. Croix, Crow Wing,

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��and Wisconsin Rivers. To hold the water subject to control, a dam is to be construct- ed across the lowest rim of each basin that is, that part of the rim which is the drainage outlet of the basin. In each case the dis- charge gate of the reservoir will have an area not less than the cross-section of the stream at low water. It is shown that 95,572,000,000 cubic feet of water may be stored away in the reservoirs on the Missis- sippi alone. The reservoirs already com- pleted on that stream show an actual capaci- ty of nearly 5,000,000,000 cubic feet more than their estimated capacity. Not all of this water is available for storage, however, as 46,000,000,000 cubic feet are required for the constant flow between May and Decem- ber, leaving a minimum of 49,000,000,000 cubic feet (with a possible ten per cent more) available for storage. Calculations show that with a low stage of water continuing for four months, the amount to be drawn from the reservoirs would aggregate only 42,000,000,- 000 cubic feet against an actual amount of 49,000,000,000 cubic feet in the reservoirs. This, if we consider the increased actual over the estimated capacity of the reservoirs, would give 5,800 cubic feet per second that could be spared, while only 4,400 are need- ed. Including also the reservoirs that might be constructed on the Wisconsin, Chippewa, Crow Wing, and Fox Rivers, the available supply could be increased to a possible 40,- 500 cubic feet per second for ninety days. The reservoirs, once they are constructed at the sources of these streams, will give a much more uniform volume in the Mississippi, so as to insure a fair stage on all bars, and will also add several hundred miles of navigable waters to the great system of river transpor- tation. These streams are mentioned, not because they are more important than the large rivers below, but because they are the outlets of hundreds of large lakes in the northern part of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Their freshets may be an important factor in the more disastrous floods of the lower Mississippi.

Glacial Action in Niagara River. Prof. G. W. Halley dissents from Prof. Gilbert's theory of the history of Niagara River, and believes that glacial action was an agent in the formation of the channel. In 1840, he

��said, a large surface of rock on the bank of the river was removed at different points for the purpose of making certain improve- ments, and was found to be deeply scored while the vicinity furnished many granite bowlders. Three branches of drift stone and gravel are developed at Lewiston, and the evidence of glacial action is abundant. These and other facts which the author men- tioned point, in his opinion, to the existence and progress of a grand terminal moraine, which was once the boundary of an immense inland sea. So far from the Niagara River carrying no sediment, as Prof. Gilbert as- sumes, and as one who visits it in summer might be justified in supposing, one who lives near it many years may see its waters running for ten days at a time with a dirty chocolate or dark amber color, and charged with great quantities of sand, gravel, and silt ; and could hear in the rapids the gravel and pebbles grinding and scratching their way along the rough bottom. The vast dense bar at the mouth of the river on Lake Ontario is overwhelming proof of its im- mense scouring properties.

Valne of Science in Industries. In his

paper on The Development of the Coal-tar Color Industry since 1880, Dr. W. H. Per- kin named various coloring matters which had been discovered during the last ten years, and illustrated his remarks by ex- periments with different colors. Germany still holds the first position in the market, both as to quality and quantity, but the competition of Swiss, French, and English manufacturers with that country has been steadily increasing. Several years ago the author had expressed an opinion of the necessity of scientific research being made an important part of the training for chemical students, so that highly skillful chemical men imbued with a spirit of in- vestigation might be produced, not only to fill chemical chairs, but also to occupy im- portant positions in chemical works. Hith- erto not so much progress had been made in this direction as was desirable, and he feared that this was to some extent due to manu- facturers not having as a body sufficiently realized the great importance of employing such men in their works. Thus, the demand being small, the supply necessarily corre-

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��sponded ; but surely the wonderful develop- ment of the coal-tar industry, which had been and still was being carried on in such thoroughly scientific spirit, was an example which should not be forgotten. Sir Freder- ick Abel, the President of the British Asso- ciation, where the paper was read, was struck with Dr. Perkin's remarks on the reasons why the English had been left behind in the development of that particular industry, and said that there were now great works in Ger- many where chemical research is carried on as an elaborate business, and was pursued by men who had acquired university degrees and distinction. He knew of one establish- ment where forty trained chemists were at work on the particular branch of research in which it is interested. If they could get a small army of men in England to pursue the work systematically, they might regain lost ground. In the first years of the coal- tar industry the English claimed it as par- ticularly their own, but now they could not do so in view of the competition of the French and Germans.

The Available Lauds of the Globe. The

subject of the lands of the globe still avail- able for European settlement was discussed at a joint meeting of the Geographical and Economical Science Sections of the British Association. Mr. G. E. Ravenstein reviewed the capacity of different parts of the earth, excluding the arctic and antarctic regions as wholly unavailable, to accommodate popula- tion. He estimated the total number of per- sons whom the earth could feed at 5,999,- 000,000. The kind of population with which it shall be inhabited will depend to a large extent on the capacity of Europeans to thrive in strange climates. He spoke of the tendency of populations to move to the southward, but did not think tropical cli- mates adapted to the acclimatization of Eu- ropean races in the sense in which the word acclimatization is generally used. The health of Europeans in tropical countries had im- proved in consequence of sanitary measures, but that was not all. Population in some countries did not increase ; and, where they could compare the facts collected in the same country, they found that the superior race increased at a slower rate than the in- ferior race. That would, in course of time,

��keep back the growth of population, and, in fact, the whole of mankind was being gradu- ally lifted up to a higher level. If only the superior, not the inferior, people increased, the speaker did not think the progress of civilization would be quite so steady. Mr. E. J. Marend, after his experience in Africa, was of the opinion that the prevalent idea that tropical regions are unsuited to coloni- zation by Anglo-Saxons is mistaken. Eng- lishmen live for years in Matabeleland, bringing up their children and keeping their health. Traders, missionaries, and Dutch- men are all able to thrive there, and the country is competent to provide the food- supplies for a large population. Sir R. Raw- son believed that the proportion of land in the different zones is as follows : About fifty per cent of the whole is in the temperate zone, about forty per cent in the torrid zone, and about a tenth in the arctic zone. Be- fore going further in dealing with a future home for the surplus population of Europe, we must ascertain the zones that are suited to a European population. The surplus pop- ulation of England and the north of Eu- rope could occupy only a temperate zone. It was also essential that we should know how much is available in each of the zones. Mr. John Mackenzie's experience had shown him that South Africa is habitable for both the north and south Europeans. The Rev. Dr. Cunningham pointed out that the intensity of production might be much increased through the direction of native agriculture by Euro- pean intelligence. Mr. Wells, a traveler in Brazil, from whose papers we have quoted, called attention to an area in the south of that country which might be called the Transvaal of South America. To the north- west of Rio lay a considerable coffee-produc- ing area, with an exceedingly healthy cli- mate, and the productive powers of the country were very far indeed from being approximately reached. Several speakers mentioned the necessity of emigrants to the south adapting their mode of life to the changed climate, and insisted on the neces- sity of temperance. Dr. J. G. Garson said the question of drainage was most impor- tant, though it often occurs that the first steps toward sanitation are followed by out- breaks of fever, arising from saturation of the soil by sewage. Elevation above the

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��sea-level exerted much influence on health, though the great thing for emigrants was to choose a climate as nearly as possible like that to which they were used.

An Experiment in Hypnotism. Mr. A.

Taylor Inness contributes to the London Spectator a curious relation of a case in which a hypnotizing practitioner ventured to stop the beating of the heart of his subject. Calling a physician of the place, who was well acquainted with the subject, to himself, he asked him, " Doctor, will you put your finger upon his left pulse, while I keep mine

on his right ? " Dr. , says the story,

" was skeptical and hostile, but at our in- stance he consented. Keeping one hand on the lad's wrist, Lewis laid the other gently over his heart. Within a minute or two M.

lost his rich and vivid color, and Lewis

counted the decreasing strokes till he an- nounced that they were scarcely recognizable. ' Is that not so, doctor ? ' he asked. Dr.

was extremely unwilling to speak ; but,

under the urgency of some of us who stood by, he at last said, in so many words, that the pulse had almost shrunk to nothing. The boy stood, a ghastly statue, for a min- ute longer, when Lewis, saying hurriedly, ' The pulse is now imperceptible ; we must protract this no longer,' took away his hand from the breast, to the evident relief of his improvised colleague. But it was to the evident relief, too, of their common patient. I remember distinctly to this day the ashen hue even of his lips, and the wonderful gradations through which the blood found its way back into them and into the whole young face a face still asleep, but now glowing as if it had traveled a long way from the margin of the grave."

Physical Geography of the Mediter- ranean. Sir R. L. Playfair said on this sub- ject, in his British Association address, that the Mediterranean must at one time have consisted of two inclosed or inland basins like the Dead Sea, separated by the isthmus between Cape Bon, in Tunisia, and Sicily. The depth between Italy and Sicily is insig- nificant, and Malta is a continuation of Sicily. The shallows cut off the two basins from all but superficial communication. The con- figuration of the bottom shows that the

��whole strait was at one time continuous land, affording free communication for land ani- mals between Africa and Europe. In the caves and fissures of Malta are three species of fossil elephants, a hippopotamus, a gigan- tic dormouse, and other animals that could never have lived on so small an island. In Sicily remains of the existing elephant have been found, as well as the Elephas aniiquus, and two species of hippopotamus, while nearly all these and many other animals of African type have been found in the Pliocene deposits and caverns of the Atlantic region. The submersion of this isthmus no doubt occurred when the waters of the Atlantic were introduced through the Strait of Gi- braltar. The rainfall over the entire area of the Mediterranean is not more than thirty inches, while the evaporation is twice as great. Therefore, were the strait to be closed, the level of the sea would sink again, and this would affect the Adriatic and the ^Egean Seas and a great part of the west- ern basin. At the Strait of Gibraltar an upper current at three miles an hour sup- plies the sea with the difference between rainfall and evaporation. An opposite cur- rent of warmer water flows out at half the rate, carrying off the excess of salinity, but leaving the Mediterranean salter than any part of the ocean except the Red Sea. The almost constant temperature of 56, com- pared with 53 to 49 in the Atlantic, en- abled Dr. Carpenter to distinguish between Atlantic and Mediterranean water.

Castomary Survivals. Our knowledge of primitive civilization, says Canon Isaac Taylor, in Knowledge, is largely derived from the study of survivals. Survivals may be defined as anomalous traditional usages, seemingly meaningless or useless, which originated in some state of things that has passed away, but which by the force of cus- tom have continued to exist. That the Queen still gives her assent to acts of Parlia- ment in a formula couched in Norman French is, for instance, a survival from the time when the sovereign of England was a Nor- man duke, unable to speak English. A judge's wig is a survival of the long hair which came in fashion at the Restoration ; and the black patch on the crown, with its white fringe, is a survival of the black skull-

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��cap that was worn over the coif of white silk or linen that formed the head-dress of the sergeants-at-law from whom the judges were selected. The procurations paid to an arch- deacon of the Church of England are a money composition in lieu of his ancient right of quartering himself and his attend- ant horsemen on the parochial clergy during his visitations. Fee-farm rents, as they are called, are in many cases survivals of pay- ments for services no longer rendered. Canon Taylor pays a rent of this kind, which repre- sents a composition for a certain number of thraves or sheaves of corn, which his prede- cessors in title rendered to the Abbot of Beverley for his services in " correcting the villans " of a certain parish, who might avail themselves of the privilege of sanctu- ary that was conferred by Athelstan on the monks. The unchronicled history of English villages may be largely recovered from the study of such anomalous survivals. Sir Henry Maiue and Mr. Seebohm in England, and Von Maurer and Prof. Nasse in Ger- many, have made some valuable researches in this line, and Mr. G. L. Gomme has added to them. The last author explains a dupli- cate municipal jurisdiction that used to pre- vail at Rochester by assuming that there was a community there of Danish origin, gov- erned by its own laws and officers, but sub- ordinate to the rule of the Saxon community. Canon Taylor also cites a more striking case at Exeter, where Mr. Kerslake has succeeded in delimitating the boundaries of the Celtic and Saxon communities which dwelt side by side within the walls.

Early Printing at Avignon. Documents have been recently discovered by the Abb6 Requin that go to show that printing was practiced at Avignon before Gutenberg in- troduced it in Mentz. They record that in 1444 one Procopius Valdfoghel (Waldvogel), a goldsmith of Prague, was living at Avig- non, and instructed two students there Manaud Vitalis and Arnaud de Coselhac in the art of artificial writing and furnished them with the instruments for it, consist- ing of two abecedaria of metal and two iron formes, a steel screw, forty-eight formce of tin, and other implements. About the same time Valdfoghel instructed one Davin, of Caderousse, a Jew, in the same art ; and

��two years later, on the 10th of March, 1446, he entered into an agreement with the Jew to supply him with twenty-seven Hebrew letters cut in iron, and other implements for the practice of printing. At the same time the Jew agreed not to disclose the art, either in theory or practice, to any one as long as Valdfoghel remained at Avignon or in the neighborhood. A partnership was formed between Valdfoghel and his two former students, from which Vitalis retired in April, 1446, giving up his share in the implements, whether of iron, steel, copper, lead, and other metals, or of wood. He also made oath on the Holy Gospels that the art of arti- ficial writing taught him by Valdfoghel was a true art, and easy and useful to any one who desired to work at it and was fond of it. It is questioned whether this declaration was obtained to avoid the imputation of sor- cery, or to commit Vitalis to an assertion that the invention was a successful one. These transactions took place while Guten- berg was still experimenting at Strasburg, and their date, if confirmed, would fix Avig- non, instead of Mentz, as the second city where printing was carried on.

Sparrows and Robins. Another attack on the English sparrow is made by C. B. Cook in a Bulletin of the Michigan Agricult- ural Experiment Station. No new charge is made against the sparrows, nor is any new proof adduced of the old charges that when too numerous they are a nuisance and that they drive away other birds. We respect, if we do not love them, for the good they have done in clearing city trees of measuring- worms. As to their incompatibility with other birds, we have the witness of one suburb of New York, where the sparrows have been the longest and have multiplied the most, that since the law came in to pro- tect other birds against the man with a gun and the boy with a stone, the robins have been increasing very fast, are not troubled by the sparrows, and during the past spring were more often seen than they. Thus the assertion that man, not sparrows, is responsible for the recent scarcity of song and friendly birds is confirmed. Mr. Cook's paper furnishes an amusing if not pleasant illustration of the folly of offering bounties for the destruction of sparrows.

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��Nearly five hundred dollars were paid out in Michigan from July, 1889, to March, 1890, "for 15,697 sparrow-heads." Most of the birds, Mr. Cook says, were red-polled linnets valuable birds. It would perhaps be bet- ter to protect the good birds more efficiently and not worry so much about the sparrows. That plan has had excellent results in New Jersey.

Permanency of the Earth's Features.

A paper was read in the American Geologi- cal Society by Prof. E. W. Claypole, trav- ersing the doctrine toward which a few geologists are tending, that the sea-beds and the continental masses are permanent and date back to the original consolidation of the earth's crust. After reviewing the sev- eral arguments by which this theory is sup- ported, the author concluded that " we have ample evidence of change of level to ac- count for the conversion of the deep sea into dry land and vice versa, and that the absence of deep-sea deposits among the stratified rocks is not a valid objection. It would also follow that the depression may occur in any part of the world according to laws as yet unknown, but that when a de- pression is full of sediment re-elevation is likely to occur ; that the deep ocean-beds, instead of being permanent outlines of the earth's contour, are subject to the same laws of elevation that govern the rest of nature. On this view the ocean abysses would be areas of subsidence unfilled by deposit be- cause they were out of the reach of shore action, rather than permanent depressions on the earth's surface."

Democracy and the Chnrchcs. The In- fluence of Democracy on Religion is the sub- ject of an article in the London Spectator, suggested by the popular enthusiasm aroused by the funeral of Mrs. Booth, of the Salva- tion Army. The author accepts the story of the Salvation Army, and the story of the Wesleyan movement of the last century, as testimony to the unconscious influence of democratic feeling on ecclesiastical organi- zation ; and he believes that the whole char- acter of the Reformation and its offshoots has been gravely affected by the attraction of democratic forms and phases of feeling for religious natures. Both Judaism and

��Christianity have always placed the poor, and especially the poor in spirit, above those accounted the possessors of this world's privileges ; and, as a consequence, these re- ligions have struck at the heart cf slavery, and have raised women to the spiritual level of men. The earlier Protestant enthusiasm may have profited by the democratic aver- sion to specially privileged spiritual orders, like the priesthood and the episcopate. The recognition by the Wesleyans of the minis- terial capacity of the laity, and the jealousy against a hierarchy manifested by many other of the Nonconformist churches, gave the religious world a consciousness of the popular advantage which a more emphatic development of the democratic idea in re- ligion bestowed on those churches and sects which were founded on free choice by the laity of their ecclesiastical representatives. The Nonconformists have been compensated for their rejection of state privileges by be- ing brought thereby nearer to the people. The influence of democratic tendencies in other churches is also marked. The univer- sal tendency in Ireland, where the priest- hood are of the class which feels most keenly the pressure of democratic principles, to modify and even defy the authority of the Roman Catholic Church in the interest of the peasantry, has been very startling. In England the Episcopal churches, both An- glican and Roman Catholic, are curiously divided between the strong democratic sym- pathies which their rulers feel under the pressure of public opinion and the natural leaning of their theology against anything like concession to the lawless cravings of the human heart. Roman Catholic dignita- ries in England express their sympathy with Irish offenders against the law and with re- calcitrant bishops in Ireland. Church con- gresses discuss social reforms with a dispo- sition to find a middle ground between the old principle of individual right and liberty and the new collectivism. In the United States even Roman Catholic priests take part with the Knights of Labor and ignore the authority of their bishops. English Ro- man Catholics support earnestly movements known to be popular, and when there is a struggle between labor and capital the great- est man is on the side of labor, often when labor is in the wrong. Everywhere the

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��spread of democracy is redressing, and more than redresses the balance of religious pre- possession. Yet it is certain that no relig- ion will remain popular long which does not put a strong curb on the passions and whims of human nature. This, too, is felt, and the course of ecclesiastics is modified by the feeling.

Shorter flours and Wages. An elabo- rate review of the probable effects on wages of a general reduction in the hours of labor, presented in the British Association by Prof. J. E. C. Munro, brought him to the follow- ing conclusions : 1. A reduction in the hours of labor which is neither universal nor uni- form will tend to reduce the net product available for division among the producing classes, but such reduction may be lessened or counteracted by greater efficiency in labor and in the use of capital. 2. Capital will be able to throw a portion of the loss on la- bor, and labor generally will be affected. 3. Any check to the accumulation of capital due to the reduction in the net produce will tend to raise interest and lower wages ; but this may be avoided to some extent by the more economic use of capital. 4. The re- duction in hours will not necessarily lessen the number of the unemployed, inasmuch as it will not increase the purchasing power of the consumer, and will not affect the chief cause of poverty incident to our present or- ganization of industry. 5. The position of the chronic unemployed, or residuum, will not be materially improved. 6. In so far as additional laborers are employed to maintain the net produce, it will be at the expense of other workers, if the net produce remains the same but the number of producers in- creases. It is necessary to point out, the author added, that arguments which may be urged against a general, though unequal, re- duction of hours do not apply with the same force to a reduction of hours in a particular trade that may be the subject of special economic surroundings. Before venturing to express an opinion on the desirability of reducing hours in a given industry mining, for example the economist will require to investigate these surroundings in order to estimate what loss, if any, will occur, and upon whom such loss will fall. But, even if there be a loss in a particular industry or

��a national loss, it may be more than made good to the nation by the beneficial effects on the working classes of greater leisure. Hence the importance of asking what the working classes will do with the hours they gain from toil. Reasons drawn from cur- rent movements were given for believing it probable that, so far as the skilled indus- tries are concerned, the workers would, on the whole, utilize additional leisure in a man- ner creditable to themselves and useful to the state. Prof. A. T. Hadley, of Yale Col- lege, in the discussion of this paper, cited the results of an investigation which was made ten years ago into the relative output of ten- hour workmen in factories in Massachusetts and eleven-hour men in Connecticut. The result was in favor of ten hours in Massa- chusetts, and was proved not to be owing to any difference in the health of the workmen, but largely to the fact that the workmen of the Massachusetts mills were of a superior class to those of Connecticut. There was a process of a sort of natural selection going on among those who did not mind the long day and could not stand the increased pace of the short day, and those who cared more for the extra hour of leisure and minded less the necessity of increased exertion.

Fast and Fugitive Coal-tar Colors. In

a paper on fast and fugitive coal-tar colors Prof. J. J. Hummel, in the British Associa- tion, contradicted the idea that the modern coal-tar colors are all fugitive while the col- ors of the older vegetable dye-stuffs are all fast. There are fast and fugitive dyes in both classes. We have now about five hun- dred distinct kinds of coal-tar colors, of which about thirty are extremely fast and an equal number or more are moderately fast. On the other hand, out of the thirty or so natural dye-stuffs usually employed we count ten as giving fast colors. We have, therefore, a total of about three times as many fast coal-tar colors as of fast natural dye-stuffs. This pitting of natural as against artificial coloring matters ought now to cease. Of course, it is not to be denied that we have a very large number of fugitive coal-tar dyes ; and the indiscriminate use of these, due largely to competition, has, no doubt, injured the reputation of the whole class. The question, often asked, whether there is no

�� � method of rendering the fugitive colors fast, must be answered in the negative. The fast or fugitive character of a color is an inherent property of the coloring matter used, and depends mainly, if not entirely, upon its chemical constitution. In order to improve the fastness of coal-tar colors we should examine thoroughly the characteristic of every coloring matter, then choose the fastest and reject the rest, or only employ them when they are perfectly admissible. Such a process of selecting the fittest has gone on in the past with reference to the dye-woods, and such is the sifting process now at work among the coal-tar colors. Side by side with this must run the selection of the most brilliant and most easily applied of the fast colors, so that the ultimate goal of perfection to which we would thus attain would be to have all our colors fast, brilliant, and easily applied. Given a good range of brilliant colors, it becomes possible by their varied combinations to produce the most peculiar, pleasing, and attractive shades of grays and olives and browns, and the thousand and one delicate tints beloved by the artist; and they yield when desired a richness and life and body of color compared with which older colors are poor and lifeless. Let the artist, inexperienced perhaps in the application and proper use of coal-tar colors, confine his attention, if he wishes, to the more somber and older dye-stuffs, but do not allow him to persuade you that there is no beauty or permanence or other quality of excellence in any of the coal-tar colors of to-day.