Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/582

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to the difference of the circumstances from those of any previous case is the amount of new law made. So the law increases, following civilization as it advances, till at last the total becomes an enormous bulk of judgemade laws; the result of the progressive deduction of rules and principles by a process of distinguishing by small variation, variations from previous cases similar, but not identical; so that, when a decision is made, some increment is added to the body of the law, or substitution of new for old is made, even to such a degree that at last, by the slow process of disintegration, the old law is reversed. "A distinctive characteristic of legislation is that it is supreme over all other methods of law-making. Its advantage is that it can make the will of the people effective much more directly and expeditiously than the other agencies. Many are the cases in which legislation has swept away the cobwebs of legal subtlety, simplified technical laws, and cleared from the path of progress the obstacles of precedent and form."

Tests and Characteristics of Rabies.—Rabies, says Dr. Armand Ruffer, is a specific infectious disease, the first origin of which is unknown. But we know that nowadays it never occurs spontaneously, and that, wherever it appears, it may be traced to the bite of a rabid animal or the accidental introduction of rabic virus through a scratch or cut. Climate seems to have no influence, or very little, on its production. That heat has little to do with it is shown by the fact that it occurs in cold as well as in hot climates. In temperate climates, cases occurring among dogs appear to be as common in winter as in summer. Cruelty may also be excluded as a cause of rabies. Dogs may be teased and provoked to bite in anger, but, though mad dogs, they are not rabid dogs. The chief propagator of the disease is the dog; but he does not always, at first, exhibit the symptoms regarded as characteristic of it. He is not usually afraid of water, and the first symptoms, instead of signs of fury, usually simulate an increase of affectionate sentiments. Even at this stage, however, the saliva already contains the virus, and is dangerous. Later on, the victim becomes sullen and morose, with a very characteristic bark, biting every dog he comes across, and frequently runs away, snapping at animals or men as he meets them, till he dies exhausted, perhaps sixty or seventy miles from home. The dumb variety of rabies, which is characterized by the symptoms of paralysis, is equally common and dangerous with the furious form. The virus is the same, but gives rise to different symptoms. Rabies is also propagated by wolves where they are numerous; and it may be met with in foxes, horses, sheep, and cattle which have been bitten by rabid animals, but is seldom communicated from them. The cat is dangerous, but not so dangerous as the dog, because her disposition is to seclude herself. Some erroneous notions prevail as to the manifestations of the disease in man. As a matter of fact, in many cases the patient is calm and conscious, and attacks of excitement are rare. The foaming at the mouth is caused by inability to swallow the saliva. The changed voice is a result of dryness and spasms of the throat. A patient may occasionally bite the attendants during a paroxysmal attack of fury, but in the majority of cases he does not try to injure those near him, and hardly ever tries to bite. Sometimes there are no attacks of excitement, while the affectionate sentiments are often greatly exaggerated. The supposed fear of water is really only an inability to drink, the reaction of which may induce spasms of the throat. The majority of persons who die of hydrophobia die within four months, and ninety-nine per cent of them within a year, after the introduction of the poison. Cases of persons who recover after the first symptoms of the disease appear are extremely rare, if there are any. Of remedies there are none that are reliable, unless M. Pasteur's comes from the test triumphant.

Interesting Geological Formations in Kansas.—The March number of the Bulletin of the Washburn College (Kansas) Laboratory of Natural History consists of a paper by F. W. Cragin on the Cheyenne Sandstone and the Neocomian Shales of Kansas. The Cheyenne sandstone, resting unconformably on the Triassic of a few counties of southern Kansas, is so called for the present in default of precise knowledge of its stratigraph-