Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/718

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698
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

made a lower through rate from San Francisco to Omaha than to Denver or Lincoln, Nebraska, expressly to compete with their Canadian rival, and complaints against them for this very thing are on file before the Interstate Commission. In their decision upon this short-haul question in the Louisville and Nashville case, the commission recognize three reasons for disobeying the general principle: (1) water competition, (2) foreign competition, and (3) such a position of railroads as would destroy competition if condemned. In regard to this latter excuse there are also illustrations in our tariffs. The Erie Railway makes the same or lower rate from New York to Pittsburg via Youngstown, Ohio, than from New York to Youngstown. The Michigan Central quotes a rate of thirty-nine cents from Buffalo to Goshen, Indiana, through Detroit, while charging forty-one cents per hundred to Miles, Michigan, a town thirty miles nearer. This comes through competition with the Lake Shore road, which is the short line from Buffalo to Goshen, while the Pennsylvania Railroad is the short line between Pittsburg and New York.

Into the general question of such a law I do not now enter; but are not the facts which I have given, and which could be multiplied, sufficient to show that the injurious effects of the short-haul prohibition are greatly exaggerated in the article referred to? And is it unfair to ask that something more definite be stated before accepting so sweeping a condemnation?

Thomas L. Greene.
New York, January, 1888.
 


EDITOR'S TABLE.

 

DARWIN'S EDUCATION.

NO part of Darwin's biography is more interesting than the pages which tell how his powers first manifested themselves, and how they were educated. He shared the opinion of his cousin, Francis Galton, that talent is due to Nature rather than nurture, to innate ability more than to education. Crediting then to Nature Darwin's wonderful aptitude for observation and for protracted pondering over observed facts until they became digested into laws, it is instructive to note how badly his formal education was adapted to draw out and develop his powers. Formal education, we say, for what is statedly taught is fortunately but a small part of what is really learned. Darwin's teaching and training were the best current in his boyhood and youth, the best which a wealthy and most intelligent father could provide him, and this is his comment on his first school: "Nothing could have been worse for the development of my mind than Dr. Butler's school, as it was strictly classical, nothing else being taught, except a little ancient geography and history. The school as a means of education to me was simply a blank. During my whole life I have been singularly incapable of mastering any language. Especial attention was paid to verse-making, and this T could never do well." At Edinburgh University, where he spent two years, the instruction was wholly by lectures; these he found intolerably dull, with the exception of those on chemistry. When he went to Cambridge, the recollection of the Edinburgh lectures was so strong upon him that he did not attend Sedgwick's course. This he afterward much regretted, as it seriously belated his study of geology. He, however, derived great advantage from Professor Henslow's lectures on botany; these he much admired for their extreme clearness and fine illustrations. Otherwise, his incapacity for mathematics and languages made his Cambridge studies unprofitable. When a boy, Darwin was a collector of shells, seals, coins, and minerals; at Cambridge his passion for collecting began to be purposeful, and he confined himself to gathering insects. While his formal education was so meager, his real education was proceeding apace, mainly through friendly intercourse with eminent teachers and promising students of the university, attracted by his charms of mind and manner.