Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

sheep forward. Slowly they came until near the spirits prevailed among European nations, acgoal; then, before man or dog could stop them, cording to which thought and motion were all three bolted past, and fully half a minute was caused by a fluid that passed out from the brain lost in bringing them back.

through a system of tubes in the body and back "At last, by coaxing ever so gently, they were to the brain again. After that scientists took taken to the pen, and two were passed through up the study of anatomy, and mere theorizing the narrow entrance and penned. The third, became unpopular. From anatomical studies it however, turned at the critical moment and seemed that the brain was a great mass of nervbolted.

ous material that exerted a controlling influence “ Time was nearly up; but a few seconds re- over the body, responded to stimuli, and origi. mained. Could the animal be recovered before nated impulses which were conducted through the those seconds had passed ?

body over nerves extending out from the brain. " The spectators held their breath and watched We are now turning away from this extreme intently; the time-keeper stood, watch in hand, view of the controlling influence of the brain, in ready to call the fatal word Time,' while the the light of certain experiments made upon man and the dog were working with nervous animals with mutilated brains, and with the energy. It was a race against the second-hand present diversity of opinion the scientist may say of a watch, and the odds were in favor of the with the poet that he has come “ Wo er nichts second-hand. Fortunately the two sheep in the Festes zu erfassen weiss." pen had remained there, so the undivided atten- For the studies described, a number of frogs tion was given to bringing in the third, which were chloroformed, their skulls opened, and parts had run about fifty yards before Laddie could of the brain removed, after which the frogs were turn it. Back they came, the driven and the cared for until they recovered. Those frogs driver, until once more they were close to the from which the cerebral hemispheres and optic pen. Then the dog dropped down, with his thalami had been wholly removed were able to head on his paws, watching the sheep as it stood use their legs as well as before, making all cus. near the narrow entrance.

tomary movements, and coördinating the move. " Nearer and nearer came the man, with arms ments with each other. Operations upon both the outspread, while the dog crawled on his belly brain and the posterior roots of the spinal nerves toward the staring, panting sheep. Once the that extend into the legs produce a marked effect sheep turned, as though to run, when, quick as upon the movements, the bind legs doing as they a flash, Laddie stood up and took a step forward, will, sometimes acting in harmony with the fore ready to cut off the retreat; but the sheep, legs, sometimes not, or each leg would move inthinking better of it, turned toward the pen, dependently without regard either to the fore and, after hesitating a moment, slowly entered, legs or to the corresponding member on the one second ahead of time."

opposite side. Our friend Laddie, however, did not win the In a number of frogs the sensory roots of the prize on this day. It went to an old dog named nerves supplying the hind legs were cut through. Jack, “who gave one of the finest exhibitions of When only one side is operated upon, the frog the day, making some wonderful retrieves, keep is usually ready to spring away immediately after ing his sheep well in hand while he completed the operation, the only difference being a slight the course and the penning in seven minutes and tendency of the foot and lower part of the leg to thirty seconds."

cling to the thigh. If the legs do not assume the right position at once after the spring, they

usually do in a short time. When both sides MOVEMENTS OF BRAINLESS ANIMALS.

are operated upon, the effects are more pronounced THE purposefulness and control of the move- and of a different nature, showing that the move

ments of one extremity are affected by the move. has been wholly or partially removed is the sub- ments of its mate on the opposite side ; that the ject of a paper by Dr. L. Merzbacher, in the last sensibility and motility of one foot induces number of the Archiv für die gesammte Physio. equally strong reactions in the opposite memlogie des Menschen und der Thiere.

ber. What the physical basis of consciousness is, This influence which the mobility and sensi. and how bodily activities are incited and con- bility of one side exerts on the other has its trolled, are questions which have always both parallel in human pathology, as shown in cases interested and eluded learned men. The Chinese of one-sided paresis, when one limb can be moved held the belief that the stomach was the seat of only when similar motions are made at the same the mind. In later times the doctrine of the time by the other.

The writer finds three sources of control for in his divinity; and in the ancient worship of every member. Parts of the brain, the sensibil- the sun, the white elephant and the white horse ity of the extremity itself, and sympathetic influ- were considered emblems of the sun himself. ence exerted by the sensibility and motility of Inspired, doubtless, by reminiscences of the solar the corresponding organ opposite. The regula- myth, there is a Vedic tradition that at certain tion through sensibility is relatively strongest. long-separated periods in the existence of the

world, å universal monarch makes his appear

ance on earth. He is of celestial origin, and the THE WHITE ELEPHANT.

initiated recognize him by varied and numerous “TH

‘HE Glory and Decadence of the White signs. For the feet alone there are thirty-two Elephant" is the title of an article by signs.

signs. Besides physical signs, this miraculous M. Henry de Varigny in the Bibliothèque Univer. personage possesses seven particularly precious selle, from which may be gleaned some curious accessories, and the chief of these is a white ele. details as to this favored one among his kind. phant. Without the white elephant, all claims

The white elephant, as is not perhaps univer- lack authenticity. Hence it is easily understood sally known, is not white at all, only of lighter why the different kings of the Indo-Chinese rehue than his fellows, his hide being light or gion and of the Buddhist countries, each deemreddish gray

A perfect specimen should have ing himself the only authentic descendant of the pink eyes with yellow iris, hide of a light brown- ancient Vedic kings, all cherishing the hope of ish red, and the interior of his ears and trunk, becoming the legendary universal monarch, as well as his nails, should be white, and his consider the white elephant an indispensable poshair red. But Europeans are unjust in attrib- session, and have done and do all in their power uting the epithet "white" to Oriental exagger- to procure him, by hook or by crook, -by crook ation, as the error is that of translators having preferably, because it is the surer way. an imperfect knowledge of the fine points of But the true country of the white elephant is Eastern vernaculars. 6. The truth is,” says

Indo-China. There his prestige has been longPyana, in a recent article in the Imperial and est maintained. There the proudest orders of Asiatic Quarterly Review, "that the term of knighthood bear his image on their regalia ; there white elephant does not exactly translate the he still majestically represents the national anSiamese or Burmese word which indicates the tiquity and glory on the royal banner. The color of the animal. In Burmese, for instance, travelers who visited Siam and the neighboring they say sin pyu, sin meaning elephant. But regions in the sixteenth century bear witness to pyu, although meaning white, has also other ac- this veneration in many passages.

When the ceptations, such as gray, light, less dark. It is Trojans were fighting because of a woman, many used to characterize the lighter complexion of a Orientals waged war to gain a white elephant, native woman less dusky than her countrywomen and even about 1650 there was continual strife without being even remotely to be confounded between the Siamese and the king of Pegu bewith a Caucasian. Besides, the Burmese often cause of seven white elephants the latter coveted. use the expression sin nee, meaning red elephant.

HONORED IN HIS OWN COUNTRY. In Siamese the animal is called chang pueuk, chang being equivalent to elephant. Pueuk, Only twenty-five years ago the lot of the white which formerly meant white or light, is now elephant in Siam was an extremely enviable one. only used in the sense of albino.

Thus we see A party of hunters discovered a very good speci. that the native expressions are erroneously trans

The news spread, and the whole country lated by white elephant; the correct term would went wild with delight. The king immediately be light elephant."

dispatched an escort of great personages, whose

duty it was to mount guard around the animal, THE WHITE ELEPHANT IN MYTHOLOGY.

which was tied by silken ropes in the forest According to the Buddhist legend, before as. where he was found. For, like his ordinary suming the human form of Gautama, the founder brethren, the white elephant has to undergo a a of Buddhism, Buddha lived in the form of a white course of taming and domestication before he is elephant ; so, in all probability the prestige of the brought to the capital. Professionals instructed white elephant dated much further back than him in etiquette, and the great personages served Buddhism, else he would not have been chosen as guard of honor. Meanwhile, people flocked as the precursor of Gautama. Indeed, the ele. from all directions to see him, bringing presents phant had his place in the Indian pantheon since and invoking for him the divine protection. He the most remote periods. Indra was always rep- was then conducted in royal pomp to Ayuthia, resented as mounted on an elephant, who shared special roads having been built from the place of

men.

1

ence.

his discovery to the nearest highway, and a sort the dead lay beyond the seas, and was in fact a of floating house of rare wood, drawn by pon- real country or tract of land. toons, lined with silk, adorned with banners, Occasionally, in the oldest folk-lore of Britand surrounded by a flotilla of gilded barks, was tany, historians come across traces of this idea, furnished to convey him across the river. The for it not unfrequently happened that a beking, with the court, met the cavalcade here, reaved widow would set sail on the sea in the and kneeling before the elephant made appropri- firm hope that she would reach the “ other side." ate offerings. The priests then read a very long Of ghosts, or returning spirits (those that come address of welcome, ending thus: It is due to back, as they are styled in France), the Celtic your own merit that you have at last come to see people seem to have had no thought at all till this beautiful city, to enjoy its riches and to about the tenth century; but during the last become the favored guest of His Most Serene thousand years spirits have played a considerable Majesty the King." Then the Brahmins baptized rôle in Celtic literarature, and both in Ireland him with holy water, and bestowed on him the and in Brittany is constant reference made to highest title the king could confer.

the banshee, who foretells disaster by her presThis title was written on a piece of sugar cane, together with a number of phrases enumerating the Brittany has remained curiously mediæval, qualities, virtues, and perfections of the new lord, and in nothing more so than in her somewhat and the sugar cane was extended to His High- morbid interest in death. Even now in many & ness, who swallowed it on the spot, thus indicat- Breton village the parish church is not known as ing that he accepted the honors granted him. the House of God, but as the “ House of the Then the procession advanced to Bangkok, all Dead ;” and till quite recently there was a place illuminated and decorated in honor of the event. put apart for the reception of the bones of the Here awaited him a palace second in splendor departed. Not unfrequently, in addition to the only to the king's; an elaborate wardrobe, - ordinary village fane, a second chapel, entirely velvet and silk coverings embroidered in gold and given up to the cult of the dead, claimed each jewels,—ornaments and marvelous trappings, Sunday the suffrages of the villagers. Many of with a gold plaque to be suspended on his fore- these remain, and are extremely beautiful, notahead (on which was inscribed his patent of nobil. bly the Campo Santo of St. Pol de Leon. Inity); a prime minister, a retinue of slaves, a scriptions, -some curious, some pathetic, some choir of priests, an orchestra of musicians, ana- strangely pagan,—are to be found running round a corps de ballet! To maintain this establishment these mortuary chapels. Many are in Latin, a whole district was granted him, all the revenues others in French, and even more in Celtic. A of which were paid into his treasury. Thus favorite motto is that addressed to the still living amply provided for, His Elephantine Highness passer-by : “Oh! sinner, repent while there is led a life so indolent that he soon succumbed still time, for one day you will also be here." to the too great kindness lavished upon him. Yet another favorite dictum is a Celtic verse of Then a royal funeral was given him, and the which the sense, roughly speaking, may be rensearch for a successor was begun.

dered : " Death, judgment and hell; when mankind thinks on these things it should trem

ble. He who does not think of death is surely DEATH IN FOLK-LORE.

lacking in mind.” Once a year, on the eve of All ON NE of the most interesting articles in the Saints' Day, processions take place all over Brit.

Revue de Paris is that by M. Le Braz, tany, each wending its way to one of these mordealing with what may be called the folk-lore view tuary chapels. of death. From time immemorial, he points out, Of late years there has been an attempt made the Celtic race have believed in a future life, and on the part of the municipal authorities to build have made themselves familiar with the thought these mortuary chapels at some distance from the of death. In southern Europe the inevitable villages. This appears like profanation to the approach of the great Destroyer has ever been pious Bretons, whose ideal mortuary would alregarded with intense horror and fear. The ways be placed in the very middle of the village, Romans,—who were, of course, southern, -were with the houses grouped round. It is thought to amazed at the calmness with which the northern be unlucky if an infant on its way to be chris. races conquered by them regarded death. The tened does not go through a burial ground, and Gauls had among their divinities one who was the cemetery is the chosen meeting place for styled the God of Death, and many of them be. lovers. There is something profoundly touching lieved that from him all mankind was descended. about a Breton churchyard ; the graves are beauThe Celtic ancients believed that the country of tifully kept and covered with quaint offerings.

[ocr errors]

THE PERIODICALS REVIEWED.

THE CENTURY MAGAZINE.

HARPER'S MAGAZINE.

[ocr errors]

T

HE opening article of the August Century is “The

New New York," Mr. Randall Blackshaw's account of what is being done to make a great city on Manhattan Island. The original purchase price of Manhattan Island was about $24. To-day building sites have brought more than $240 a square foot, and the assessed valuation of real estate in Greater New York is to-day about $3,250,000,000. Mr. Blackshaw thinks that of all great works now in course of construction on Manhattan, the most significant are the projected railway tunnels, with the East River bridges taking second place. Next to these comes the erection of such magnificent buildings as the Episcopal cathedral, the public library, the proposed post office and the custom house, the chamber of commerce and the stock exchange. Mr. Blackshaw thinks that the proposed tri-centennial celebration of the discovery of the Hudson River will find us in 1969 with a city three centuries old that we can be proud of.

THE KING OF AMERICAN SHOWMEN." There is an excellent sketch of the late “P. T. Barnum, Showman and Humorist,” by Joel Benton. Mr. Benton writes of Barnum as the gigantic dispenser of amusement. Mr. Barnum's home was at Bridgeport, Conn., and he was fond of putting something in the buildings and fields that suggested a show. On one occasion he had an clephant engaged in plowing on a sloping hill where it could plainly be seen by passengers of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad. This sight was so widely described and discussed that the showman received letters from farmers all over the United States, asking him how much hay an elephant ate, and if it were more profitable to plough with an elephant than with horses or oxen. Mr. Barnum invariably answered: “If you have a large museun in New York, and a gr:au railway sends trains full of passengers within eyeshot of the performance, it will pay, and pay well ; but if you have no such institution, then horses or oxen will prove more economical.” At Mr. Barnum's house the governor of Connecticut could be often seen, unbending himself; Horace Greeley was a not infrequent visitor, “Mark Twain” and Elias Howe often dropped in; and Matthew Arnold, when he came to America, was the guest of the showman.

HE August Harper's contains an article on “The

Lineage of the Classics,” by Dr. F. G. Kenyon, who tells how the works of the great authors of the ancient world, of Homer and Thucydides, of Virgil and Livy, have been preserved, and illustrates his explanation by reproductions from manuscripts in the British Museum. Of the classics proper we have no original autographs, nor any copies nearly contemporaneous with them. The plays of Æschylus were written between 485 and 450 B.C., for instance, and the earliest extant manuscript of them, a few unimportantscraps excepted, was written in the eleventh century, an interval of some 1,500 years. For Sophocles, for Thucydides, for Herodotus, the interval is substantially the same, and for Pindar and Euripides itextends to 1,600 years. Thus the destruction of manuscripts of the classics has been enormous owing to the fragility of the papyrus on which the original matter was written. Then the rolls of manuscript might be thirty feet long, which rendered them unwieldy and more liable to destruction. Many & ant authors have totally perished, and some of the great works of the classics wedo know have been finally lost.

Prof. Robert K. Duncan writes on “Radio-Activity, A New Property of Matter.” The cathode rays and the X-rays arise from a Crookes tube, a mechanism which is the complicated result of centuries of thought; they are a property of condition. The Becquerel rays, discov. ered by Henri Becquerel, a member of the French Institute, come from radium, a substance dug from the ground, which emits them, apparently, forever and forever, as it has emitted them through the countless centuries of the past, without any extrinsic influence. It is their natural intrinsic property-a new property of matter-radio-activity. The radium rays possess the X-ray properties of penetrating matter generally considered opaque. Aluminum is transparent to the rays, whose power is influenced only by the density of the substance interposed. Lead is comparatively opaque. The physiological effect of Becquerel rays is curious. A pinch of radium salt contained in a sealed glass tube was placed in a cardboard box, which was then tied to the sleeve of a professor for an hour and a half. An intense inflammation resulted, followed by a suppurating sore which took more than three months to heal. Mr. Duncan says that considering, then, the cost of the pitch-blende from which it is extracted, the value of radium would be at least $10,000 a gramme. As a matter of fact, less than a gramme exists to-day.

Mr. Charles Hallock writes on “The Primeval North American" and the civilization which flourished in North America about ten thousand years ago. The Korean immigration of the year 544, which led to the founding of the Mexican empire in 1325, was but an incidental contribution to the growing population of North America. Mr. Henry W. Oldys contributes a very suggestive essay on “Parallel Growth of Bird and Human Music," and there is a plentiful supply of imaginative material embellished with pictures in colors.

THE WEST INDIAN VOLCANIC DI 'STERS.

Prof. James F. Kemp, of Columbia University, writes on “Earthquakes and Volcanoes.” There is a graphic record of the Martinique disaster in a letter written by the vicar-general of the island in the form of a journal from May 2 to May 21, and the life in the doomed city is shown by translations from the leading newspaper of St. Pierre, Les Colonies, in its editions of May 1 to 7, the week previous to the disaster. The Century pays attention, too, to St. Vincent's catastrophe, by printing the observations and narratives of two eye-witnesses, Captain Calder, chief of police of St. Vincent, and T. McG. McDonald, owner of the Richmond Vale estate on the island.

SCRIBNER'S MAGAZINE. HE August Scribner's begins with a new short

only break in this fiction number is Edith Wharton's Italian travel sketch, “A Midsummer Week's Dream." Mr. A. T. Quiller-Couch's story is impressively illustrated with colored reproductions of Howard Pyle's drawings; there is the beginning of a new serial by J. M. Barrie, “The Little White Bird ;” and a number of other capital contributions of fiction go to make up a notable story number.

plays the violin. Aside from that, he is exemplary in his private relations."

Mr. Charles S. Gleed gives Mr. Cassatt, the president of the great Pennsylvania system, credit for a wonderful faculty of selecting the important thing, and of leaving the next most important for another time or another man. Mr. Cassatt was highly educated, and then went through a rough-and-tumble experience as a surveyor's rodman on the Pennsylvania road.

Mr. Rafford Pyke, in an essay on “What Men Like in Men,” places the quality of “squareness” first, then reasonableness, then courage, generosity, modesty, dignity, and tenderness, in the order named. There are articles on “London Society,” “Diversions of Some Millionaires,"

," “ The Organization of a Modern Circus," “City Ownership of Seaside Parks," and the love story of Heine and Mathilde.

T

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

M'CLURE'S MAGAZINE. 'HE August McClure's contains a sketch of John

Mitchell, the labor leader, by Mr. Lincoln Steffens, and a study of “Mont Pelée In Its Might,” by Prof. Angelo Heilprin, from both of which we have quoted in another department.

Miss Stone's account of her experience among the brigands is followed this month by Mrs. Tsilka's story of the little baby that was born while that lady was sharing Miss Stone's captivity.

M. Santos-Dumont contributes an autobiographical sketch under the title, “How I Became an Aeronaut." The balloonist is only twenty-nine years old. He was born in Brazil. He says he was an aeronaut by nature, and his playmates used to tease him about his propensity to flying kites when he was a little boy. He has, in fact, evidently been studying the principles of human flight his whole life. M. Santos-Dumont has decided in favor of a petroleum motor, and the fundamental principle of his experiments has been the effort to minimize weight. Early in his experiments he constructed a 34 horse-power motor weighing only 66 pounds, a very remarkable engine at that time.

The balance of the August number is composed of fiction, including a daring but delicious little idyl by Stewart I dward White, “The Life of the Winds of Heaven."

[merged small][ocr errors]

MUNSEY'S MAGAZINE. N the August Munsey's, Donald Mackay, writing on

“The Cow Puncher at Home," tells something of the life of the cowboy, who is, he says, practically the same to-day as in the early development of the West and Southwest. Cowboys are Americans generally, and sometimes English ; “no man has ever seen a German cowboy, or a French.” The cow puncher gets $30 to $75 a month, and saves it up for a considerable time, until he gets to the city, where it does not take long to separate himself from it. In the round-up each outfit consists of a cook wagon, a cook, two horse hustlers, and eight riders. Every 5,000 head of cattle requires such an outfit. Each rider possesses eight horses, three of which he uses every day. The cowboy country extends over the great prairies of Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, and thence northward to Wyoming and Dakota. Mr. Mackay says that in Texas women have taken to ranching, and that one of the most successful, Mrs. Pauline Whitman, owns a ranch of 200,000 acres in the Pan Handle. She raises 15,000 cattle annually, and requires twenty cowboys for their handling.

Mr. Oscar K. Davis, formerly the New York Sun's correspondent in the Philippines, contributes an article on “The Moros in Peace and War,” which is timely in view of the recent peacemaking with the Moro people. Mr. Davis says the Moros are the most formidable of the native tribes in the Philippines, and a campaign against them must be a serious affair. The center of Moro population in Mindanao is about Lake Lanao, in a fine upland country, where the natives cultivate great fields of rice and sweet potatoes. The Spaniards fought their way to this lake from the north coast in the face of tremendous resistance. They opened a road, which they protected with numerous blockhouses, and up which they lugged three small gunboats built in sections. The boats were put together at the lake and launched, but never saw much service, and were finally scuttlei. Mr. Davis says the Moro fighters are very differ at from the Filipinos. Although they are poorly arme i, they use with deadly skill and energy terrible kniví 3 which they make themselves, and with which they can easily cut a man's head from his shoulders by one bow.

There are other articles in this number of Munsey's on “Country Life in England,” by Lady Colin Campbell; the Stony Wold sanatorium for consumptives being established in the Adirondacks; “The New Photography," by Charles H. Caffin ; and “College Girls' Dramatics,” by Alice K. Fallows.

tions” is not the work of a Jules Verne, this writer explains. “The great difference between Jules Verne and Mr. Wells is that the latter was trained in scientific methods of thought, while the former was not. Before Jules Verne took to romances he wrote operatic libretti; before Mr. Wells took to romances he was a pupil of Huxley's at the Royal College of Science. He graduated at London University with first-class honors in science, and his first literary production was a textbook of biology."

The Cosmopolitan continues its sketches of “Captains of Industry," with articles on William Rockefeller, Charles T. Yerkes, H. M. Flagler, W. C. Whitney, and A. J. Cassatt, president of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Of William Rockefeller, Mr. S. E. Motfett says he is noted among is associates and subordinates for his perfect mastery of all the details of the operation of the company, his clear and sound judgment, and his keen critical faculty. “He is not a physical weakling, like his formidable brother. The steam that drives his mental machinery comes from a capacious material boiler. His physique is of the robust, J. Pierpont Morgan type. He is an enthusiastic horseman, and a lover of the fields and woods. But, like all the Rockefellers, he is de voutly religious. He has only one vice,-he

« AnteriorContinuar »