Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/312

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
300
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

newed, rebuilt from the débris of this same stream, and life has again flooded the continents, but its origin is older than they.

But now that we have before us such a fine large stream, may we not make further investigation, may we not know its mystery, the hiding-place of its power? We touch the cell with our needles, open its wall to make minuter inspection; but in an instant the charm is broken, the mystic river forgets to flow, the tiny particles settle into unbroken peace.

"The parent fountains sink away

And close their crystal veins;
And where the glittering current flowed,

The dust alone remains."

We are permitted to look in and see how the work of life goes on, but we can as yet go no further. We may explain. We may say it is all the result of chemical forces, and doubtless chemical forces are working there; but such explanation demands an explanation. Does chemical action renew itself? Chemical action is one thing, chemical action perpetuated and controlled by life is quite another. We may say, life is the property of protoplasm, or we may reverse the statement and say that protoplasm is that form of matter which manifests the phenomena of life, but that is as far as we can go. The streamlet hemmed by the narrow walls of the cell of any plant is to us a boundary. On one side the line, peace unbroken, eternal fixity, rest, of a world whose chemical forces acted once and for ever; on the other, the vast procession of life begins, rises before us, spreads away in variety, activity, in beauty, in wonderfulness, incomprehensible.

 

THE JEWS IN EUROPE.[1]
By Dr. J. VON DÖLLINGER.
II.

A GLANCE at the changing fortunes of the Jews in France, England, and Spain, brings clearly to light how their condition was influenced by the hierarchy. In England as in Germany, the Jews were the special property of the king, and were in part fostered as a valuable and profitable possession, and provided with privileges, and in part, particularly under King John and Henry III, made the object of merciless extortion. They enjoyed, indeed, also the royal protection, which, however, in times of sudden attack by the populace, came almost always too late, and only sharpened the popular hatred to which

  1. Anniversary Address before the Academy of Sciences at Munich, delivered July 25, 1881. Translated by Mr. W. M. Salter.