Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/608

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.



common indulgence of his tribe in the wilds of Madagascar, I do not wonder that the people are superstitious about them, and call them "ghosts" or "specters." No lament can be imagined more weird and torturing to the nerves. At first, when I heard my pet cry thus, I ran hastily down-stairs, thinking something dreadful had happened; but the instant his eye fell upon me, the rogue changed his wails into the grunt of recognition, and a demand to be let out.

When, after five hours of revels that kept his audience in shrieks of laughter or in terror for his life, the time came for him to go to bed, and his wire-gauze door was—in spite of his remonstrance—closed upon him, it was curious to see him prepare for night. His bed was in a round wooden box, fastened upon the side of his cage, lined and covered with blankets. Sometimes he lay on his back, his head hanging out upside down, and two legs sticking out at awkward angles; occasionally his arms were thrown over his head, and his hands clung to the edge of the box. But usually, after a long preparation of fur-dressing, he placed his head on the bottom of the box, face down, and then disposed his body around it, wriggling and twisting and turning, till he was satisfied, when he was seen lying on his side, his head not under him as would be expected, and his tail curled neatly around. Sometimes, after long and elaborate arrangement of himself, when one would not expect him to move before morning, he suddenly started up and came out as bright and lively as if he never dreamed of going to sleep. But more often, when he had thus composed himself, the heavy blanket was dropped before his door, the lights were turned out, and he was left for the night.



THE readers of "The Popular Science Monthly" will remember the interesting series of papers communicated to its pages during the years 1887 and 1888 by Mr. David A. Wells; in which were traced out, and exhibited in something like regular order, the causes and extent of the wonderful industrial and social changes and accompanying disturbances which have especially characterized the last fifteen or twenty years of the world's history. It is safe to say that no economic papers have been published in recent years, on either side of the Atlantic, that attracted more attention or were read by so many persons with such interest and profit.

It affords us pleasure now to state that, since their original