Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/739

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719
THE STUDY OF SOCIOLOGY.

the recent one in Great Coram Street—suppose I were to compare the ratio borne by this number of murderers to the number of foreigners in England with the answering ratio among our own people; and suppose I were to take this as a test of the Continental culture Mr. Arnold so much admires. Probably, he would not think the test quite relevant, and yet it would be quite as relevant as that he uses—perhaps somewhat more relevant. Suppose, again, that, by way of criticism on German administration, I were to dwell on the catastrophe at Berlin, where, during the celebration of victory, fourteen sight-seers were killed, and some hundreds injured; or, suppose I were further to judge it by the disclosures of the leading Berlin physician, Virchow, who shows that one out of every three children born in Berlin dies the first year, and whose statistics prove the general mortality to be increasing so rapidly that, while "in 1854 the death-rate was 1,000, in 1851-'64 it rose to 1,164, and in 1864-'68 to 1,817"[1]—suppose, I say, that I took these facts as proof of failure in the social system Mr. Arnold would have us copy. Possibly he would not be much shaken, though it seems to me that this evidence would be more to the point than a case of infanticide among ourselves. Further, suppose I were to test French administration by the statistics of mortality in the Crimea, as given at the late meeting of the French Association for the Advancement of Science, by M. Le Fort, who pointed out that—

"During those six months of winter, 1855-'56, when hostilities were almost suspended, the English having only 165 wounded in six months, and the French 323, the English army, thanks to the precautions taken, had but few men in the hospitals and lost only 606, while the French army witnessed the outbreak of the typhus in its midst, though it might have been avoided, and lost, from disease alone, 21,190 men."

and who further, respecting the relative mortalities from operations, said that—

"In the Crimea the English and French armies were exposed to the same wants, to the same atmospheric changes, and yet what a difference of mortality in surgical cases! The English lost 24 per cent, of their cases of arm-amputations, while we lost double that number, or 55 per cent. The same is to be said of amputations of the leg: 35 per cent, against 71."

—suppose, I say, that I were thus to deal with the notion that "they manage these things better in France." Mr. Arnold would, very likely.

not abandon his belief. And yet this contrast would certainly be as damaging as the fact about the girl Wragg, to which he more than once refers so emphatically. Surely it is manifest enough that, by selecting the evidence, any society may be relatively blackened, and any other society relatively whitened.

From Mr. Arnold's method let us turn to some of his specific statements: taking first the statement that the English are deficient in ideas.

  1. Lancet, December 28, 1872.