Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/578

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

found, having a little round, clear spot in their depth, but which otherwise preserve all the appearance and elasticity of the normal red globules; they are simply, if the expression may be allowed, stung. Besides these globules, others exist in which the evolution of the microbe is more advanced; the clear spot has become larger, and is surrounded as if by a setting of fine black granulations; all around, the hemoglobine, plainly distinguishable by its greenish-yellow tint, forms a ring, which grows narrower as the parasite increases in volume. At last, nothing is left of it but a perfectly colorless, narrow marginal zone, the hemoglobine having entirely disappeared, and the substance of the red globule having been taken possession of by the microbe till it has been reduced to a shell. We now have a. circular element having nearly the dimensions of the red globule, and inclosing the microbe, which has reached its perfect condition, and is provided with one or more very slender prolongations, which are, however, not visible in this condition. At this moment the parasite is about to pierce the membrane that contains it, and escape into the plasma of the blood. This microbe can be found in every patient about to be attacked with fever, except those suffering from marsh-cachexy, concerning whom M. Richard can not speak decidedly, because he has not made sufficient examinations of them.

 

Geological Influences in English History.—Professor Archibald Geikie has an article in "Macmillan's Magazine" illustrating how the history of the English people has been affected by the geological structure of their island. That the relation thus assumed is real may be proved by viewing the contrast between the heart of England and the heart of Scotland. The former is inhabited by a rich agricultural or busy mining English-speaking population, is dotted with large cities, and teems in every clement with the bustle of enterprise; the latter, a region of rugged mountains and narrow glens, is tenanted by a Celtic race that clings to its old tongue and habits, has never built towns and hardly villages, abounds in pastures and game-lands, but has no industrial centers, no manufactures of any kind, and only a feeble agriculture struggling for existence along the bottoms of the valleys. These differences prove, upon examination, to have arisen fundamentally from the utterly distinct geological structure of the two regions, by which diversities in human characteristics were initiated in far prehistoric times, and have been continued, in spite of the blending influences of modern civilization, down to the present day. Passing by the conjectures as to what may have happened in prehistoric times and between the Cymric and Gaelic branches of the Celtic race, we come to the Roman conquest, which was extended over the lowland regions of the Old Red Sandstone and Carboniferous strata of England and Scotland, and was stopped at the crystalline rocks of the Highlands. The same geological influences which guided the progress of the Roman armies may be traced in the subsequent Teutonic invasions of Angles, Saxons, Jutes, and Norwegians. It was on the former platforms of undisturbed strata "that invaders could most successfully establish themselves. So dominant has been this geological influence, that the line of boundary between the crystalline rocks and the Old Red Sandstone, from the north of Caithness to the coast of Kincardineshire, was almost precisely that of the frontier established between the old Celtic natives and the later hordes of Danes and Northmen. To this day, in spite of the inevitable commingling of the races, it still serves to define the respective areas of the Gaelic-speaking and English-speaking populations." On the northwestern coasts of the island there are none of the fringes of more recent formations which have had so marked an influence on the eastern side. Hence, though the Norsemen possessed themselves of every available bay and inlet, driving the Celts into the more barren interior, the natural contours made it impossible that their hold on the ground should be so firm as that of their kinsmen on the east. Hence the Gaels eventually came down upon them, and all obvious trace of the Norse occupation disappeared, save in the names given by the sea-rovers to the islands, promontories, and inlets. The difference in the character of the Irish and the Highlanders—both Celts—may be traced to differences in geological structure and scenery. The Irishman is