Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 15.djvu/828

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

and hills, and rivers and springs, that trees and grasses, that stones, and all fragments of things are endowed with life and with will, and act for a purpose. These fragments of philosophy lead to the discovery of hecastotheism. Philology also leads us back to that state when the animate and the inanimate were confounded, for the holophrastic roots into which words are finally resolved show us that all inanimate things were represented in language as actors. Such is the evidence on which we predicate the existence of hecastotheism as a veritable stage of philosophy. Unlike the three higher stages, it has no people extant on the face of the globe, known to be in this stage of culture. The philosophies of many of the lowest tribes of mankind are yet unknown, and hecastotheism may be discovered; but at the present time we are not warranted in saying that any tribe entertains this philosophy as its highest wisdom.

[To be continued.]

 

A HOME-MADE SPECTROSCOPE.
By JAMES J. FURNISS.

THE person to whom the study of spectroscopy is really attractive and congenial will not rest satisfied with mere reading, but, sooner or later, will experience a desire to possess a spectroscope of his own—to see for himself the phenomena which are described in the books. He who possesses and can spare the requisite means, will naturally provide himself with an instrument from the optician; but there are no doubt many who, while taking a great interest in this and kindred subjects, are so circumstanced that their outlay for scientific purposes must be limited to a very small sum. It is hoped that this article may be of some service to readers whose fortune places them in the latter category. I do not intend to say anything concerning the principles of spectrum analysis, or the construction and use of spectroscopes in general; that part of the subject may be studied in such treatises as "The Spectroscope and its Applications," by J. Norman Lockyer, or "The Spectroscope and its Work," by Richard A. Proctor, as well as in the more advanced works by Lockyer, Roscoe, and Schellen. I simply propose to give a few hints (which the works mentioned do not give), to enable the beginner, though he may possess little or no mechanical ingenuity, to construct at small expense an instrument which will prove a useful adjunct to his studies.

The chief quality to be desired is usefulness; the appearance of the instrument counts for little: if its performance be satisfactory, that is all that is necessary. The essential parts of the spectroscope are, (1)