Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/564

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by the mayor, and escorted to the kjökkenmöddings, their goal, by hundreds of picturesque mounted peasants. Here a grand display of skeletons, and of the refuse of the meals by which these frames were nourished, rejoiced their eyes; and later the speechifying, etc., were gone through with as much enjoyment as before.

On Saturday the two kings honored the séance with their presence to hear the great Tertiary debate, which M. Mortillet, of the Musée St. Germain, opened with needlessly elementary instruction as to the formation of flakes, and asserted his belief in the disputed ancestor's existence in a speech lasting an hour and a half.

"He argued high, he argued low,
He also argued round about him."

An Englishman, known, from his habitual demand for evidence, in the foreign scientific world as le petit St. Thomas, answered him with geological and other objections. He said that no flakes indubitably found in these Tertiary beds were of unmistakable human manufacture, but were such as might be due to natural forces; and insisted on the necessity of strong proof before accepting, as an established fact, man's existence at a time so widely remote from ours—a time when the hipparion was the nearest living representative of the horse, and since which the whole fauna had almost completely changed. Then St. Thomas wound up by declaring that, though for twenty years he had upheld the antiquity of our race, as proved by the discoveries at St. Acheul and in other old river-valleys, and it therefore ill became him to dispute it now, he could not be satisfied to rest his pedigree on a single bulb of percussion.

M. de Quatrefages, who does not believe in evolution as applied to the human race, declared for Miocene man. So did M. Capellini, who had already brought some pet whalebones, found in the marine beds of Italy, before the Congress at Pesth; which bones he believes to have been scored in Miocene days by wrought flints. Others venture to think the marks may be due to the teeth of fishes rather than to human agency. Virchow was dubious. Most suspended their verdict until there should be more conclusive evidence, so the resolution of this great question was adjourned to the next session.

Of course, one excursion was to lovely Cintra, and to Dom Fernando's picturesque Penha palace perched on a peak there, with its castellated walls and little gilt domes. It was grand to see savants gravely riding the tiny donkeys down perilously deep descents. However, thanks more to the sure-footedness of the beasts than to the skill of the riders, no one came to grief. The views at Cintra over the rocky peaks, great pine-woods, and long-stretching plain, with the misty Atlantic as an horizon, are beautiful, and the Moorish remains there are most curious. That evening the real King gave a ball at Cascaes to the Congress, but, in spite of the courtesy of the hosts, the dancing