Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 14.djvu/546

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

my first impressions have been fully confirmed. In every variety of situation and circumstances the white petunias have been neglected for the colored, in exact proportion to the intensity and vividness of color; and the same I found to be true, in a less degree, as regards the deep and pale morning-glories. I have called the attention of others to the facts, and proved that the preference of the insects is determined by color alone. If there was any difference whatever in sweetness or fragrance, it was in favor of the rejected white flowers.

Yours respectfully,

Thomas D. Lilly.
Kent's Store, Fluvanna County, Va.
October 23, 1878.
 

 

AN AMERICAN HAIRY TORTOISE.

To the Editors of the Popular Science Monthly.

Noticing your interesting extract, from "Land and Water," concerning the hairy tortoise, I take the liberty of mentioning a similar species found, to my knowledge, in the lakes of this valley. Its description tallies almost exactly with that of the Chinese variety, except perhaps in size. It is about three inches in length by two and a half in breadth, is very closely covered by its shell; the calipee is not hinged, and out of some dozen specimens examined by me not one was without the coat of water-grass. Its habitat is the bottom of shallow lakes and ponds, and near the submerged roots of trees, where it is often caught with the hook. It has a remarkably fetid odor. The grassy or confervoid covering is not of any very great length, generally about one half or three fourths of an inch. It is, I believe, an undescribed species, though Mr. Agassiz may have had a specimen among his collection of tortoises from the Mississippi Valley.

Very respectfully,

J. F. Battaile.
Yazoo City, Mississippi, December 8, 1878.
 


EDITOR'S TABLE.

COPYRIGHT AND MORALITY.

THE recent fluttering among American publishers caused by the discovery that Canadian enterprise threatens to come into successful rivalry with them, even in their own home market, is sufficiently amusing. The violation of the rights of foreign authors has been hitherto excused on the ground that it was necessary to the promotion of American popular education and indispensable to the intelligence of the country. Authors and publishers, we have been emphatically told, are by no means the main parties to be considered in this matter; both must be subordinated to the requirements of cheap literature for the reading public of the United States. This sounds patriotic and disinterested, and we might almost be persuaded to assent and admire, were it not for the odd circumstance that those who talk loudest in this strain seem to have been the most successful in feathering their own nests at the expense of the dear people whose interests they have so much at heart. The American publisher has been virtually saying to Jonathan and his family, who, it is presumed, were intensely hungering for knowledge, "By not paying the foreign author I am able to provide you with his productions many times cheaper than you could otherwise get them"; and it has been agreed that it was a very nice arrangement, highly favorable to American intelligence, which it might be a national disaster to disturb. But when the Canadian publisher offers to join in this noble philanthropic work of educating Jonathan and his family by cheap literature, we are surprised to observe that he gets the cold shoulder. He says to Jonathan and his family, "By not paying American authors I can furnish you with their productions many times cheaper than you can otherwise get them," and this he is proceeding to do by means of the post-office. But, instead of welcoming this efficient cooperation of the Canadian publishers for cultivating and illuminating the American mind, our publishers are quite disgusted, and say this thing must be stopped, which simply shows what