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possession upon which the greatness of the Roman jurists rests." Even Blackstone, who shared something of the English prejudice against the Civil Code, says; "Far be it from me to derogate from the study of the civil law, considered (apart from its binding authority) as a collection of written reason. No man is more thoroughly persuaded of the general excellence of its rules, and the usual equity of its decisions; nor is better convinced of its use, as well as ornament to the scholar, the divine, the statesman, and even the common lawyer."

Besides the insight into the principles of abstract justice, which is given by the study of the Roman law, and legal science in general, its practical tendency in promoting that wisdom and intellectual power, necessary for public and private life, is no less important. One of the greatest needs of practical life, is the capacity of applying general principles to minute details. The knowledge of a principle, however comprehensive, is practically useless, unless it gives power to meet an actual emergency. A prominent feature of legal studies, is the constant application of general truths to specific cases, and the solution of complex relations by an appeal to simple and ultimate principles. The habit of mind acquired, by discovering the relation between the general and the special, the simple and the complex, creates an intellectual power and command indispensable to the administration of affairs.

But in a country whose institutions depend, for their security, upon the intelligence and virtue of the people, it seems unnecessary to urge the importance of cultivating a science which treats of justice as the basis of government and law. In those times when political authority was vested exclusively in the hands of kings, the education of the prince, in all that relates to good government, was regarded as a necessary condition of social security and happiness. In a nation where every man is indirectly a judge, a legislator and a prince, there is no way in which the liberties and welfare of the community can be secured, but by a wide diffusion of scientific knowledge regarding the principles of public and private law. All admit the high value which education possesses in a democratic state; but we are too apt to neglect that kind of education which is of the greatest service to the citizen. Every educated man should understand, not only the constitution of his own government, but, also, the essential nature of those primordial rights which underlie all constitutions and governments. The safest protection against a weak or oppressive administration, an incompetent or corrupt judiciary, is a widely extended knowledge of those principles which the law should embody, and which the magistrate is called upon to enforce. Legal education is, thus, one of the strong safeguards of democratic institutions. It confers upon the people a broader conception of their own interests, more enlightened and discriminating views of the character and policy of their leaders, and a higher appreciation of a government which seeks to secure order by the preservation of liberty, and to administer justice by vindicating the rights of humanity.

We submit these considerations as illustrating the important results which may be derived from the general study of legal science, and especially the civil jurisprudence of Rome, in contributing to those liberal and practical elements demanded by the culture of modern times.


By Principal SOLOMON SIAS, A. M., M. D., of Schoharie Uuion School.

The object of the present brief essay is to call the attention of the Convocation to one of the most frequent and most appalling phenomena of Nature.

Personal dissatisfaction with the meager account of earthquakes given in our school treaties upon Physical Geography, and my own inability to answer many of the questions propounded by students, led me several years ago to commence gathering up all the data, and reading all the works within my reach upon the subject. Experience soon taught the necessity of some systematic arrangement of the material, and I commenced grouping it for class and lecture purposes under the following heads:

1. Number occurring each year, as given in books and the current literature of the day.

2. Distribution, or sections where noticed.

3. Time of occurrence, giving both date and time of day.

4. Nature of action.

5. Duration of shock, and whether single or repeated.

6. Direction and rate of motion.

7. Distinctive phenomena.

8. Relation to other phenomena.

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I began the investigation with the idea that earthquakes were principally confined to what are termed the "volcanic regions of earth.' The accumulated data soon convinced me they were more universal in distribution. Yet I was a little surprised to find New England peculiarly subject to them, and that New York and the whole Appalachian range of States repeatedly felt these quiverings of the solid earth. (See note.) We vastly underestimate the yearly number as well as misconceive the sections of country exposed to them. During the last thirty years over twenty earthqnakes have been noticed in New England and Eastern New York. How many more have passed unnoticed, is, of course, beyond the reach of estimation. Fortunately for us, noticed or unnoticed, they have hitherto been harmless. Yet who can tell what shall be the result of the next throe of agonizing nature?

On tabulating the time when shocks were noticed-without assuming any theory as to their cause-I was led to group the phenomena under three heads.

1. Cosmical; 2. Eruptive; 3. Local.

I found that more than half of the earthquakes recorded, occurred during the three months in which earth was nearest its perihelion. This coincidence could not be accidental, especially as earthquakes increased both in number and violence as the earth approached the perihelion, and gradually declined as it swept away.

While, however, there seemed to be a mysterious connection between their frequency and earth's perihelion, I repeatedly found that violent shocks occurred in other portions of the year. Gathering these together under the heading "Occasional "-and comparing them with those

already recorded, I noticed that for several years, there would be a gradual increase in their frequency, then as gradual a decline. Supposing there might be a cause for this fluctuation exterior to earth, I made a subdivision of the Cosmical, term it "Secular," and transferred the Occasional to it.

Under the head "Eruptive," I gathered all that were apparently connected in time of occurrence with volcanic eruptions in their vicinity, or along connected mountain lines, and found as a result of the comparison that less than fifty per cent of recorded earthquakes are so related.

Under the head of "Local," were primarily grouped the slight tremblings occasionally felt in our own or other parts of earth where there are no volcanoes. Subsequently were placed with these all the limited and isolated earthquakes wherever they occurred, and whether connected or not in point of time with slight volcanic eruptions. From this list of Local phenomena, I afterwards took all that by reason of position, and the assumed rate of progress might possibly be connected with some great "Eruptive" shock.

As no theory or hypothesis as to the origin of earthquakes influenced the investigation, none can affect the deductions made from the accumulated facts, and the following are the conclusions at which I have arrived:

1. No region of earth is exempt from their occurrence. The presumption is that in the non-volcanic sections, their action will be slight; but there is no surety for it, and repeated examples of unexpected upheavals have destroyed the calculations of man, his cities of commerce, and his hopes of perpetuity.

2. Scores of earthquakes pass each year unrecorded and unnoticed in regions where they are not expected, and even in those sections most liable to their occurrence. In fact, in those regions where they are not expected, the shock must be violent to attract attention.

3. Full eighty per cent of earthquakes are harmless, and but few of the remaining twenty should be considered dangerous.

4. There is apparently no immediate or necessary connection between volcanoes and earthquakes. Either can exist independent of the other, and a large majority of earthquakes do occur entirely unconnected with any known volcanic action.

A comparison of the distinctive and connected phenomena brings us within reach of the all-grasping fingers of theory.

One class of phenomena is closely connected with the Dynamics of Geology. The plication of earth's crust; the gradual sinking of large areas; the shrinkage ever going on in the great fire heat of earth; the inter-communication of the vaulted chambers of the rock-ribbed hills; the chemical changes taking place where human eye hath never seen; the percolating, permeating power of water; the decomposition slowly but surely produced in the mineral masses it reaches-these are some of the self-existent, home influences that contribute to the tremblings that startle and the convulsions that overwhelm.

But there is another class of phenomena showing that the cause of earthquakes is not confined to earth. Deity has created no isolated world. The moon in syzygy; the planets in conjunction and opposition; the magnetic storms that come unheralded; the mysterious force that dapples the face of the sun with dingy spots-these, and unknown forces of nature, lend their power to shake the earth, and teach mankind that

all nature is united, and that He who created holds in His own grasp the forces that can destroy.

NOTE.-The earliest recorded instance I have found in New England is that given by Coffin, in his History of Newbury, Massachusetts. It occurred June 1st, 1638. The Town Records say: “Being this day assembled to treat or consult about the well ordering of the affairs of the town, about one of the clocke in the afternoone, the sun shining faire, it pleased God suddenly to raise a vehement earthquake, coming with a shrill clap of thunder, which shook the earth and foundations of the house in a very violent manner to our amazement and wonder, wherefore taking notice of so great and strange a hand of God's providence, we were desirous of leaving it on record for the view of after ages, to the intent that all might take notice of Almighty God and fear his name." Hutchinson says of this shock, that its course was from West to East, that it shook the ships in the harbor, threw down chimneys, rattled the dishes from the shelves, and was felt through the whole country.

In January, 1663, a succession of shocks commenced that continued to July. Then at intervals of about twenty years there was a recurrence of earthquakes until 1727, when a series commenced, lasting over ten years, in which time over one hundred shocks were felt. Sometimes there were two or three shocks in a day, and in two instances, it is said, there were six.

In the winter of 1850-51, there were three pretty severe shocks felt in New Hampshire, and again one in 1870.


By Principal ALBERT B. WATKINS, Ph. D., of Hungerford Collegiate Institute.

The relation of the State to secondary education is a topic of practical and vital importance.

The object of this paper is not so much to make an exhaustive discussion of the subject as to direct the earnest attention of our best educators to a line of argument, the results of which would leave to private enterprise, and under individual control, educational interests which lie at the base of our governmental structure.

We will consider, first and briefly, the educational policy of some of the European governments; secondly, the educational policy of some of the more advanced of the United States; and thirdly, some objections which are urged against State aid to secondary education.

1st. What is the policy of the European governments in respect to secondary education?

The theory and the practice with even the more progressive governments of Europe was formerly that popular or primary education should be dealt with by the State; but that more advanced instruction should be left to take care of itself. "The State's taking secondary instruction seriously in hand," says Matthew Arnold, "dates, in Prussia, from Wilhelm Von Humboldt, in 1809. In Switzerland the State's effective dealing with all kinds of public instruction dates from within the last thirty years. In Italy it dates from 1859. In all these countries the idea of a sound civil organization has been found to involve the idea of an organization of secondary and superior instruction by public authority by the State."

France and England are really behind Germany and Switzerland in secondary education, and the results are clearly seen in the fact that in ́ France, in her late war with Germany, one-third of her priest-ridden. population had just education enough to inaugurate the reign of mob law and to be ruled by passion; while in England the aristocracy and the wealthy can educate themselves, but the poor, to a great extent, must remain in ignorance.

2d. What has been the policy in this country in regard to secondary education?

From the earliest beginnings of government upon this continent, the American people, avoiding the early error of the European governments, with a wisdom and foresight which seem more than natural, have strongly encouraged, by State aid, secondary education. A little more than twenty years after the landing of the Pilgrims, we find the inhabitants of the future commonwealth of Massachusetts laying the foundation for an educational structure which endures to this day, and which has largely contributed to the pre-eminent intelligence and intellectual superiority of that State. They there order "that where any towne shall increase to the number of 100 families or householders, they shall set up a Grammar School, the master thereof being able to instruct youth so far as they may be fitted for the University." They also declare that "wisdom and knowledge, as well as virtue, diffused generally among the body of the people, being necessary for the preservation of their rights and liberties; and as these depend on spreading the

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