Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/877

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tion incomplete and of very uncertain efficacy without the reference to arbitration in case of disagreement. Employers and employed were equally emphatic on this point. They thought the knowledge of an appeal to arbitration being in reserve was absolutely essential to a successful negotiation at the Conciliation Board. The right of appeal might seldom be used, but in their opinion it must always be there, otherwise, though things might not go so far as a strike, there would be constant worrying and keeping up of a contention." Two rules contribute greatly to the smooth working of the system: one, forbidding any suspension of work at any place under the jurisdiction of the board before the cause of dispute has been submitted to the consideration of the board; and the other, making the board's decision retrospective, so as to take effect from the date of the raising of the point. Both these rules have been observed by both sides in good faith. These boards have further exercised a salutary influence in promoting a more reasonable spirit among employers and employed. "There is very much more reason than there used to be formerly; so much so, indeed, that more disputes are now settled at home without going to the board at all than were settled at home before its establishment, and all in consequence of the growth of habits of reasonable consideration and mutual forbearance, which have been bred through the board."

Symbolical Communication.—Writing of the language of signs or the symbolism in ceremonial and current use among the lower tribes of Farther India, General A. R. MacMahon says: "The chief's special messenger, carrying his carved and ornamented spear as an emblem of authority—potent as a magistrate's seal in other countries—dumb though he be in presence of people to whom his dialect is a foreign tongue, metaphorically speaks in accents that can not be mistaken when he flings down the gauntlet in the shape of the war-dah with strip of crimson cloth in token of defiance, or produces the cross or dagger-shaped plurvi or wand, made of strips of bamboo, which, simple as it may appear to the uninitiated, under some conditions furnishes the materials for a lengthy dispatch, if reduced to a written medium. If the tips of its cross-pieces be broken, for instance, it signifies a money demand for each fracture. If one cross-piece be charred, it means an urgent summons, directing people to come by torchlight if it arrives at night. A capsicum fixed on the plurvi signifies that disobedience to the order will 'make it hot' for the recipient. If the plurvi be made of cane instead of bamboo, it betokens that this punishment will take the form of flogging. The smooth, round stone which was all that Lieutenant Wilcox received from the Abora, in reply to interminable verbal negotiations suggesting the advisability of their submission to British authority, was utterly meaningless to that very intelligent officer till interpreted by a rude native of the jungle who happened to be present when the mission arrived. The translation ran thus: 'Until this stone crumbles in the dust shall our friendship last, and firm as is its texture, so firm is our present resolution.' . . . Captain Lervin's policeman, when required to explain why he . . . desired a week's leave, said, 'A young maiden has sent me flowers and birnee rice twice as a token, and if I wait any longer they will say I am no man.'"

Animals and Music.—A curious account of the effects of various kinds of music on different animals is given by a writer in the Spectator. The general order of the experiments, based upon the supposition that animal nerves are not unlike our own, was so arranged that the attention of the animals should be first arrested by a low and gradually increasing volume of sound, in those melodious minor keys which experience showed them to prefer. The piccolo was then to follow in shrill and high-pitched contrast; after which the flute was to be played to soothe the feelings ruffled by that instrument. Pleasure and dislike were often most strongly shown where least expected; and the last experiment indicated stronger dislikes, if not stronger preferences, in the musical scale, in the tiger than in the most intelligent anthropoid apes. With "Jack," a six-months-old red orang-outang, "As the sounds of the violin began, he suspended himself against the bars, and then, with one hand above his head, dropped the other to his side, and listened with grave attention. He then crept away on all fours, looking