Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/823

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porary inflammation—imperceptible to the health of the infinite corpus.

Thus I admit, with the pure dynamist, that the material universe, or successive material universes (if such a solecism is pardonable), as manifestations of matter and motion, are concatenated with time, are born, run their course, and fade away, as do the clouds of air. But the infinite reservoir of power wherein they occur as disturbances remains. What can cause these manifestations of power—these droopings of energy, with their complicated results? This is beyond our finite ken; but it is certain that the mere running through of its course of a finite evolution does not end the eternal, the infinite, and absolute. Nor can the mind be restricted to such a conception by any argument about the limitation of its faculties.



SHORTLY after the Flood, as we are informed, Abram's wife turned her domestic, Hagar, out of the house on account of her arrogant conduct, which is perhaps the first authenticated instance on record of trouble between mistress and servant-girl. This sort of trouble, which began so early, still survives in forms so various and often so exasperating as to raise the impatient question whether the serving class is the only dark part of creation which improvement has failed to reach. The question is, no doubt, full of aggravation and discouragement, yet there has been improvement, but it has been of slow attainment, forming no exception to the great law of progressive social amelioration.

Social changes, it is to be remembered, especially of the alleviating and elevating kind, are always slow. We are beginning to talk about social evolution, and the new science of sociology which treats of it; but we have to take ages into account before we can realize any positive conception of advance. Much of the barbarism of early society clings tenaciously to the domestic relations, while the modification of human nature and the corresponding mitigation of social imperfections go on but very gradually, tardily, and partially.

A still further reason for the slowness of improvement in the present case arises from the peculiarity of the relations involved. In times of early violence, it is the weak that are subjugated and enslaved, and, as civilization advances, it is ever the lowest and most ignorant class of any society that falls into the condition of menial servitude. The feeblest, the least competent, the least provident, naturally sink to the bottom of the social scale, and become the helpers, the dependents,