Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 13.djvu/576

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558
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

corresponded with the chief-engineers of the Waterstaat as to the results obtained in their experience in the use of cresoted timber in all our marine works, in large quantities and during some tens of years. They all unanimously agree that the teredo will not penetrate timber thoroughly impregnated with creosote; but that, to obtain the best results, the work must be thorough, as they had observed that the teredo had destroyed piles only superficially injected.

“Fir, if the sap be first withdrawn in a vacuum and then treated with hot oils under a heavy pressure, can be most thoroughly creosoted; but oak is more difficult. Still, I have often seen heavy oak-piles where the creosote had entered into the very heart.

“Creosoted wood is also used in our country for railway-sleepers and tramways, and everywhere with the best results. They last four or five times longer than when unprepared, while experience shows that wood treated with sulphate of copper or chloride of zinc (Burnettizing) is neither protected from the teredo nor the influences of humidity and of the atmosphere.”

 

SCIENCE IN THE ENGLISH SCHOOLS.

THE rejection of Sir John Lubbock's motion for the addition of elementary science, or, rather, as the matter was more happily put by Dr. Lyon Playfair in the course of the debate, of elementary knowledge of common things, to the subjects for which grants are given under the education code, although an inevitable and foregone conclusion, is not on that account the less to be deplored. As happens in many similar cases, the argument was all on the side of the minority, and Lord G. Hamilton, in opposing the suggestion on the part of the Privy Council, was only able to say that its adoption would, perhaps, entail some temporary uncertainty about the subjects in which inspectors would be required to examine and children to pass. If schools existed for the convenience of inspectors, or oven in order that children might not be troubled by uncertainties, the objection would have been a valid one; but upon any other supposition it seems to tell against, rather than in favor of, the contention which it was intended to support. The nation is spending large and rapidly-increasing sums of money upon schools, and it will every year become a matter of greater urgency that these sums should not be misapplied, either by the omission from the code of subjects which would be useful or by the inclusion of others which have no apparent tendency to promote the attainment of the ends to which education is supposed to be directed. These ends, in the case of a peasant-child, are presumably to render him a more useful and a better conducted member of society than he would become by the unaided light of Nature; and it is obvious that the means to their attainment are twofold—first, to cultivate the intelligence in such a way as to facilitate the acquirement and the application of knowledge; and, secondly,