Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/320

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cation. That chance it has, as yet, nowhere had. Our colleges, so far as they have admitted scientific students, have allowed them to come in with a very inferior preparation. The French and German, and for that matter the English, too, in most of our colleges, are mere child's play, where they are not broad and ridiculous farces, the butt of students and professors alike. Let some of our colleges inaugurate the reform: lay out a "modern" course for admission and for college on the same general principle as the classical course—few subjects, but long-continued and detailed study in each of them—and insist on as thorough and vigorous work as they do in their Latin and Greek, and then, after a fair trial, compare results. The friends of "modern" education are willing to abide by the outcome. In the mean time it will be wise for the classicists to avoid quoting reports that have nothing to do with the question, and appealing to authority which, upon investigation, turns out to be squarely on the other side of the point in dispute.


THE depression of the waters of the Lakes of Neufchâtel, Morat, and Bienne, which the Swiss Confederation has been having executed during the last ten years, has been a most fortunate event for archaeologists; and with pick in hand, and on a relatively new ground, they have been able to recover hosts of treasures from the buried ruins of the lake-villages. The few scattered relics which they had succeeded in fishing up out of the water with tongs and drags have been multiplied into immense proportions since the hunters have been able to work upon the solid land that has been reclaimed from the edges of the favored lakes. By thousands and thousands the relics of human industry have been heaped up in the archaeological collections, and the knowledge of the curious civilization of the early inhabitants of Switzerland has made, by the aid of these facts, very interesting progress. We need only cite, in proof of this, the very important memoir which Professor Théophile Studer has recently published in the "Bulletin" of the Society of Naturalists of Bern. Taking up, after M. L. Rütimeyer, of Basel, the study of the bones found in the archæological deposit of the palafittes (a term designating a wooden construction built on piles), and making use of the immense material collected from the stations of the Lake of Bienne, he has drawn from them most interesting details respecting the variations of the animal population during the different periods of these prehistorical ages, and respecting the progress of the domestication of the races useful to man.