Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/370

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has its own beauties of grace, prettiness, or sublimity, and each is largely apprehended and appreciated by means of half-unconscious recollections of the others. Between the American and Canadian falls at Niagara, a little belt of water forces its way through the gap which severs Goat and Luna Islands, and forms a minor cataract of its own, hardly heeded in the presence of the two great rivers plunging headlong at its side. If one fixes one's attention for a few moments on this little sheet of foam, one recognizes after a while that it is really larger than any cascade in western Europe. And, if you then turn your eyes to the vast semicircle of deep-green water on your right, you feel at once that without that standard of measurement your eye and brain would have failed adequately to grasp the mighty dimensions of Niagara.

Thus, step by step, in our own individual minds, and in the history of our race, the æsthetic faculty has slowly widened with every widening of our interests and affections. Attaching itself at first merely to the human face and figure, it has gone on to embrace the works of man's primitive art, and then the higher products of his decorative and imitative skill. Next, seizing on the likeness between human handicraft and the works of nature, envisaged as the productions of an anthropomorphic creator, it has proceeded to the admiration for the lace-work tracery of a fern or a club-moss, the sculptured surface of an ammonite, the embossed and studded covering of a sea-urchin, the delicate fluting of a tiny shell. Lastly, it has spread itself over a wider field, with the vast expansion of human interests in the last two centuries, and has learned to love all the rocks, and hills, and seas, and clouds, of earth and heaven, for their own intrinsic loveliness. So it has progressed in unbroken order from the simple admiration of human beauty, for the sake of a deeply seated organic instinct, to the admiration of abstract beauty for its own sake alone.—Mind.

By Professor T. C. MENDENHALL.

CONSIDERABLE information has been gathered, and much has already been published, concerning the damage inflicted upon this coast and in the vicinity by the typhoon which visited us during the night of October 3d and 4th.

The unpleasant frequency, in this part of the world, of storms of the same character, renders their careful investigation by competent meteorologists a matter of the utmost importance. What is chiefly demanded, therefore, is the collection of such meteorological records and observations as may, perhaps, render it possible to trace completely