Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 30.djvu/213

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LIFE IN THE SOUTH-SEA ISLANDS.

these principles, or, what amounts to the same thing, to express from the first every phenomenon observed in symbolical language which embodies these principles, is to invert the natural order, and to abandon the inductive method. Undoubtedly, such are the precision and grasp of this system of symbols that it is of the greatest value in aiding the chemist to see relations and predict results which, without its aid, he might not have discovered at all. Nevertheless, it must be remembered that chemical symbols simply stand for the facts and theories they were devised to express, and for nothing more. They have not the generality of mathematical formula?, and are, therefore, far inferior to such formulæ as forms of deductive reasoning. In the pamphlet before us the full meaning of chemical symbols is explained, but they are not used until the principles of the science have been developed.

An inspection of this pamphlet will show that the author, who has been for thirty years one of the most constant advocates of scientific culture in school and college, has no desire to lower the standard of university education. Except to those who have unusual mathematical and scientific talents the new scheme of preliminary studies is a decidedly more difficult way of entering college than the old classical curriculum. It has, however, a special end in view, and has been adapted to this purpose with great care, and is the result of large experience. Our colleges have always been the nurseries of scholars, of men who knew how "to clothe thought in beautiful and suggestive language, to weave argument into correct and persuasive forms, and to kindle enthusiasm by eloquence."[1] But we earnestly hope that while rendering as fully as ever this high service to the state by educating the men who will defend the right and repress the wrong, uphold the true and expose the false, these same schools of liberal culture will also do the equally important work of preparing earnest men "to unravel the mysteries of the universe, to probe the secrets of disease, to direct the forces of Nature, and to develop the resources of this earth."[2]

 

LIFE IN THE SOUTH-SEA ISLANDS.
By Captain CYPRIAN BRIDGE, R. N.

THE inhabitants of the New Hebrides are Melanesians, divided into a multitude of independent and usually hostile tribes. On several islands there are communities of Polynesians, some of whom—as shown by their complexions—have preserved, among their Mela-

  1. The writer, in an address to the Harvard Club of Rhode Island, Newport, August 25, 1883, and published in this "Monthly" for November of the same year.
  2. Abridged from a paper on "Cruises in Melanesia," etc., read before the Royal Geographical Society, April 12, 1886.