Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 6.djvu/169

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
157
THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE OYSTER.

our inmost being. How can we account for this apparent contradiction In reality, there is no contradiction. Observe, indeed, that, even if the most indifferent causes can effect in us one and the same sensation, and thus delude us as to the outer world, our soul is never cheated. It knows perfectly well how to refer this one sensation to the dissimilar objective causes which have affected it; in other words, the causes which are alike, and are confused in one in the purely physiological act of sensation, divide and grow distinct in the psychological act by which the soul recognizes them, and conceives them as different. If we had, to give us knowledge, only the dull and ignorant passivity of our senses, there would be no reality for us; but the wise activity of the soul can not merely assert the reality of outward objects, for a reason similar to that which makes it assert its own existence—it can still further argue, from its various modes of affection, to a corresponding variety of external forces. It moves in harmony with the world, rather than in harmony with the senses. In presence of the latter, it is like a good prince, who would be nothing without his subjects, but who regulates and civilizes them, by giving them laws, and ruling their morals. Thus, and this is the conclusion at which we aim, it is in the soul, regarded as the focus of all those rays refracted through the senses, as the central light outshining all others, that we must set the power and the right to discern what the senses do not discern, and to pierce to a depth forever beyond their reach. We shall never know what relation there is between the outward world and those images of it which we perceive, but the soul can hold the unshaken belief that the various points of those images correspond to points in the outer world situated in a like order, and that the forces which affect it are, in their essence, of the same nature as those forces of which, in its inmost depths, it feels itself the lord.

 

THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE OYSTER.
By Rev. SAMUEL LOCKWOOD, Ph. D.
II.

IN the former article, attention was given chiefly to what might be called structural and industrial considerations of our bivalve. We are now to note some matters in the life of the oyster of a natal character. Its friends and enemies must be looked after. Its dietetics and geographical range must be dealt with. It must also be viewed in certain geological and ethnological aspects; for we may find even the oyster holding a singular relation to the American autocthonic man.

The Oyster's Birth and Growth.—According to the popular