Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

a

1

would be idle to inquire into their respective advantages. This of expenditure for science as gave to Dr. Hofmann his training much, however, is evident enough, chemical work is extensive, in Giessen, or brought bim to London in 1848, or built for him and there is immediate want of it.

laboratories in Bonn and Berlin, without such provision by the Various other branches of science are held back by the delay of State, the fruits of his service would have been lost to the chemistry. Many of the material resources of the world wait world. Aye, and for want of a like broad and prudent provision upon its progress. In the century just before us the demands for research with higher education, in this country, other men upon the chemist are to be much greater than they have been. of great love for science and great power of investigation every All the interests of life are calling for better chemical informa- year fail of their rightful career for the service of mankind. tion. Men are wanting the truth. The biologist on the one hand, and the geologist on the other, are shaming us with inter

Endowments for Research. rogatories that ought to be answered. Philosophy lingers for the For the prosecution of research, in the larger questions now results of molecular inquiry. Moreover the people are asking before us, no training within the limitations of human life can direct questions about the food they are to eat, or not to eat, ask- be too broad or too deep. No provision of revenue, so far as of ing more in a day than the analyst is able to answer in a month. real use to science, can be too liberal. The truest investigation The nutritive sources of bodily power are not safe, in the midst is the most prudent expenditure that can be made. of the reckless activity of commerce, unless a chemical safeguard In respect to the support that is wanted for work in science, I be kept, a guard who must the better prepare himself for his have reason for speaking with confidence. If I go beyond the duty.

subject with which I began I do not go beyond the warrant of The Subsistence of Science.

the association. This body has lately defined wbat its members Now if the people at large can but gain a more true estimation

may say, by creating a committee to receive endowments for the of the bearing of chemical knowledge, and of the extent of the

support of research. chemical undertaking, they will more liberally supply the sinews

There are men and women who have been so far rewarded, of thorough.going toil. It must be more widely understood that

that great means of progress are in their hands, to be vigorously achievements of science, such as have already multiplied the

held for the best advantage. Strength is required to use large hands of industry, do not come by chances of invention, nor by

means, as well as to accumulate them. It is inevitable to wealth, surprises of genius. It must be learned of these things that they

that it shall be put to some sort of use, for without investment it come by breadth of study, by patience in experiment, and by the

dies. By scattered investment wealth loses personal force. The slow accumulations of numberless workers. And it must be

American association, in the conservative interests of learning, made to appear that the downright labor of science actually de

proposes certain effective investments in science. If it be not pends upon means of daily subsistence. It must be brought given to every plodding worker to be a promoter of discovery, home to men of affairs, that laboratories of seclusion with deli

such at all events is the privilege of wealth, under the authority cate apparatus, that libraries such as bring all workers together

of this association. If it be not the good fortune of erery invesin effect, that these really cost something in the same dollars by

tigator to reach knowledge that is new, there are, every year, in which the products of industrial science are measured. atistics

every section of this body, workers of whom it is clear that they of chemical industry are often used to give point to the claims of

would reach some discovery of merit, if only the means of work science. For instance, it can be said that this country, not mak

could be granted them. Whosoever supplies the means fairly ing enough chemical wood-pulp, has paid over a million dollars a

deserves and will receive a share in the results. It is quite with year for its importation; that Great Britain pays twelve mil

justice that the name of Elizabeth Thompson, the first of the lion dollars a year for artificial fertilizers from without; that

patrons, has been associated with some twenty-one modest detercoal tar is no longer counted a by-product, having risen in its

minations of merit recognized by this association. value to a par with coal gas. But these instances, as striking as

The Association as a Trustee. numerous others, still tend to divert attention from the more general service of chemistry as it should be known in all the

“ To procure for the labors of scientific men increased facilieconomies of civilization.

ties” is one of the constitutional objects of this body. It is time It is not for me to say what supplies are wanted for the work

for effectiveness towards this object. The association has estabof chemists. These wants are stated, in quite definite terms, by

lished its character for sound judgment, for good working organia sufficient number of those who can speak for themselves.

zation, and for representative public interest. It has earned its

But if my voice could reach those who hold the supplies, I would

responsibility as the American trustee of undertakings in science. plead a most considerate hearing of all chemical requisitions, and

“To give a stronger . . . impulse ... to scientific research ” that a strong and generous policy may in all cases prevail in their

is another declaration of wbat we ought to do. To this end behalf.

larger endowments are necessary. And it will be strange if some

clear-seeing man or woman does not put ten thousand dollars, or The Lesson of a Life,

some multiple of it, into the charge of this body for some searchIf any event of the year is able to compel the attention of the ing experimental inquiry now waiting for the material aid. The world to the interests of research, it must be the notable close of committee upon endowment is ready for consultation upon all rethat life of fifty years of enlarged chemical labor, announced quired details. from Berlin a few months ago. When thirty years of age, “ To give ... more systematic direction to scientific reAugust Wilhelm von Hofmann, a native of Giessen and a pupil search" is likewise stated as one of our objects. To this intent of Liebig, was called to work in London. Taking hold of the the organization of sections affords opportunities not surpassed. organic derivatives of ammonia, and presently adopting the new The discussions upon scientific papers give rise to a concord of discoveries of Wurtz, he began those masterly contributions that competent opinions as to the direction of immediate work. And appear to have been so many distinct steps toward a chemistry of arrangements providing in advance for the discussion of vital nitrogen, such as manufacture and agriculture and medicine questions, as formally moved at the last meeting, will in one way have thriven upon. In 1850 he opened a memoir in the Philo- or another point out to suitable persons such lines of labor as will sophical Transactions with these words, “the light now begins indeed give systematic direction to research. to dawn upon the chaos of collected facts.” Since that time the

In Fellowship. coal-tar industry has risen and matured, medicine has learned to measure the treatment of disease, and agriculture to estimate the In conclusion I may mention another, the most happy of the fertility of the earth. It seems impossible that so late as March duties of the American association. It is to give the hand of hosof the present year, he was still sending his papers to the jour- pitable fellowship to the several societies which year by year gather nals. If we could say something of what he has done, words with us upon the same ground. Comrades in labor and in rewould fail to say what he has caused others to do. And yet, let freshment, their efforts reinforce us, their faces brighten our it be heard in these United States, without such a generous policy way. May they join us more and more in the companionship

W

that sweetens the severity of art. A toeeting of good workers is a remembrance of pleasure, giving its zest to the aims of the year.

AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF STATE WEATHER SER

VICES.

The proposition to print the weekly, monthly, and annual reports of the State weather services in a uniform manner was freely discussed. The desirability of uniform reports was generally admitted, but it was thought impracticable at this time to take any action in the matter, as a number of States have appropriated funds for printing reports according to definite size and style.

The discussion of the question of the best methods of signaling weather forecasts by display-men covered a wide range. The flag, the whistle, the semaphore, and the sphere, bomb, and flash-light systems were freely discussed, and an interesting paper was presented by the New England representative on the system of spherical bodies hoisted on a staff. This subject was referred to a committee composed of Messrs. Conger, Glenn, and Kerkam, for report at the earliest practicable date.

On the subject of inspection of voluntary observers’ stations the decision was that each voluntary station should be inspected at least once each year, to keep up the interest of the voluntary observers and to enable the directors of State services to become thoroughly familiar with each station and its surroundings. It was recommenıled by the association that sufficient leave of absence be granted the Weather Bureau representative at each State service centre to enable bim to make a tour of inspection.

Relative to the subject — the relations of State weather services to agricultural colleges and experiment stations - it was decided that, owing to the lack of telegraphic facilities and other means of disseminating weather information, it would not be practicable generally to have the central stations of the State weather services at such colleges or stations, but that a very close co-operation would be desirable.

The subject of an exhibit at the World's Fair was the last general subject discussed. It was decided that each State service should have its exhibit in the building set apart for the use of the State, and not to have the exhibits collected in the building for the use of the United States Weather Bureau.

Mr. E. T. Turner of New York and Mr. E. H. Nimmo of Michi. gan were elected to active membership in the association, and the following honorary members were also elected : E. F. Smith, California ; Professor R. Ellsworth Call, Iowa; Charles C. Vauck, Arkansas; Professor William H. Niles, Massachusetts; G. H. Whitcher, New England; H. G. Reynolds, Michigan; H. F. Alciatore, Oregon; Major Richard V. Gaines, Virginia; Professor A. L. McRae, Missouri; C. F. Schneider, Michigan; Professor Louis MO uth, South Dakota ; and all active voluntary observers of the United States Weather Bureau.

A CONVENTION of representatives of State weather services was held in Rochester, N.Y., on Aug. 15 and 16, 1892, in conjunction with the forty-third meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The convention was called to order by Professor Mark W. Harrington, chief of the Weather Bureau, who made an address of welcome to the representatives present. He suggested certain important subjects for discussion, and appointed committees on permanent organization, programme, etc.

A permanent organization was effected, and the following officers were elected: President, Major H. H. C. Dunwoody; first vice-president, B. 8. Pague of Oregon; second vice-president, G. M. Chappel of lowa; secretary, R. E. Kerkam, chief of State Weather Service Division, Weather Bureau; and treasurer, W. L. Moure of Wisconson.

The title, American Association of State Weather Services, was adopted by the convention, and it was decided to hold annual conventions in future at the same time and place as those of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The following representatives were in attendance: The U. S. Department of Agriculture, Weather Bureau, being represented by Professor Mark W. Harrington, chief; Major H. H. C. Dunwoody, forecast official; Mr. R. E. Kerkam, chief of State Weather Service Division; Mr. N. B. Conger, inspector; and Mr. F. J. Randolph, stenographer; F. H. Clarke, Arkansas; J. A. Barwick, California; John Craig, Illinois; C. F. R. Wappenhans, Indiana; G. M. Chappel, Iowa; Frank Burke, Kentucky; E. A. Evans, Michigan; G. A. Lovelend, Nebraska; J. Warren Smith, New England; E. W. McGann, New Jersey; R. M. Hardinge and W. O. Kerr, New York; C. M. Strong, Ohio; B. S. Pague, Oregon; H. L. Ball, Pennsylvania; S. W. Glenn, South Dakota; G. N. Salisbury, Utah; J. N. Ryker, Virginia; and W. L. Moore, Wisconsin.

Many of the representatives who were unable to be present at the convention forwarded papers giving their views on various subjects of interest to be discussed.

The subject of instrument-shelters and a uniform manner of their exposure was debated, and it was the concensus of opinion that a uniform pattern of shelter should be adopted for use throughout the entire country. The subject was referred to a committee consisting of Messrs Smith, Moore, and Pague, with instructions to report as to the most suitable shelter and manner of exposure to be generally adopted by State weather services.

On the subject of whether the voluntary observers should be supplied with self-registering maximum and minimum thermometers, the prevailing opinion was that such instruments should be issued and used in determining temperature means and averages, wherever and whenever practicable. The old method of making readings at 7 A.M., 2 P.M., and 9 P.M. of the dry thermometer shall be continued whenever desired, but the means should be deduced from the self-registering thermometers where such in. struments are in use.

As to the adoption of a form to cover the needs of a great majority of the voluntary observers who are supplied with dry or maximum and minimum thermometers and rain-gauges, it was decided to adopt a form which was suggested by the secretary, so arranged as to admit of making three or four copies, at one writing, by means of the indelible carbon process, thus saving the observers the copying of the form at the end of the month; the object of this arrangement being to give a copy of the monthly report to the office of the chief of the Weather Bureau, one to the office of the director of the State service, and one to be retained by the observer, and also to make such additional copies as he may desire to furnish to the local press, etc.

The forecasting of thunder-storms was the fourth subject discussed, and an interesting paper on this topic was read by the Wisconsin representative.

NOTES AND NEWS. MR. THEODOR GRAF of Vienna has in his possession a remark. able treasure in the shape of fragments of the Bible recently found in Egypt. They consist of a portion of Zechariah, chapters iv -xiv., in the shape of a papyrus book in a fair state of preservation. The fragment is that of a Greek translation, and from the shape of the letters the MS. would appear to belong to the fourth century, making it the oldest Bible MS. thus far discovered. The same papyrus also contains fragments of Malachi.

The current number of the Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft contains an article of the highest importance by the distinguished Egyptologist, Dr. Adolf Erman. He discusses in a most cautious way the supposed relationship of tbe Egyptian with the Semitic languages. A careful examination of the consonants and vowels, the accent, the pronominal suffixes, the pronouns, and the demonstratives, the nouns, adjectives, numerals, and verbs, as well as of the syntax, leads to the conclusion that on the grammatical side there is sufficient evidence to warrant the assertion of a relationship between Egyptian and Semitic. An examination of the vocabularies shows only a comparatively small number of words which are identical, but this number will probably be increased when the laws of phonetic change come to be better understood. The conclusions of Professor Erman, if accepted, will be epoch-making, since they will establish the identity of the culture of the Nile and Mesopotamian valleys.

SCIENCE:

PUBLISHED BY

4.50 a year.

demic, the first that ravaged the fertile sweet-flag plain; but that is a delusion. Cholera paid them its first visit more

than a hundred years later. It was then that the religious A WEEKLY NEWSPAPER OF ALL THE ARTS AND SCIENCES.

character departed once for all from the cremation rite; for the government, seeing that the fire was too slow, ordered

the bodies, wrapt in mats and quick-lime, to be sunk into the N. D. C. HODGES,

sea; cremation ever after was only a sanitary operation.

In the past thirteen years there have been 456,080 reported 874 BROADWAY, NEW YORK. cholera patients in the empire; of these 303,466 died, that is,

664 per cent. Every one of these corpses has been burned.

Under police regulations, in the city of Tokio, there may be SUBSCRIPTION8.-United States and Canada.....

.$3.50 a year.

eight public crematories (of course, this has nothing to do Great Britain and Europe...

with the private establishment of each Buddhist burialCommunications will be welcomed from any quarter. Abstracts of scientific place), placed outside of the city-limits. The law requires papers are solicited, and one hundred copies of the issue containing such will

that they shall be constructed of brick and large enough to be mailed the author on request in advance. Rejected manuscripts will be

burn at least twenty-five corpses at a time. Each furnace returned to the authors only when the requisite amount of postage accompanies the manuscript. Whatever is intended for insertion must be authenti

must have a chimney over thirty feet high.

Each cremacated by the name and address of the writer; not necessarily for publication, tory is expected to have a separate furnace for burning disbut as a guaranty of good faith. We do not hold ourselves responsible for charges, and a separate disinfecting room. This furnace is nay viow or opinions expressed in the communications of our correspondents. to be of brick and capable of incinerating at least twenty-five Attention is called to the “Wants" column. It is invaluable to those who

casks (bushels) at a time; its chimney must be thirty feet use it in soliciting information or seeking new positions. The name and

high. The law requires further that the disinfecting comaddress of applicants should be given in full, so that answers will go direct to them. The "Exchange " column is likewise open,

partment shall be divided into two spaces, one a bath-room, For Advortising Rates apply to HENRY F. TAYLOR, 13 Astor Place, New not for the corpses, of course, but for persons suspected of York.

harboring the disease; the other a fumigating place. Crema

tion can only be performed from sunset to sun rise; the CREMATION OF CHOLERA CORPSES.

corpses are not stripped of their clothing, and are one and

all accompanied by their burial certificate. BY ALBERT S. ASHMEAD, M.D., LATE FOREIGN MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF In the Buddhist cemeteries cremation is thus performed. TOKIO HOSPITAL, TOKIO, JAPAN.

The corpse is brought in a square wooden box or barrel (the JAPAN bas almost everything, or believes that it has almost regular Japanese coffin) in a sitting position, according to everything, to learn from us; but there are a few things the national custom. A hole in the ground with sloping which it would be wise for us to consent to learn from Japan. sides awaits it, at the bottom of which are two stones, upThe Japanese, a prey from time to time, like all Oriental right and parallel; across the top of these stones fire-wood countries, to cholera epidemics, and, having the cholera and charcoal are piled. Around the corpse, placed upon the always with them endemically, have early found out that pile, a circular wall is built up, formed of rice-straw and the cholera corpses should be burned.

chaff, perhaps to a height of five or six feet, and the wall There are in the city of Tokio six crematories. They are itself is wrapped in wet matting, which during the whole not only destined to the incineration of cholera corpses; for operation is continually moistened. The fire is kept up cremation is imposed as a religious duty by a number of during twelve hours, after which the ashes and bones are Buddhist sects. In the oldest cemetery in Japan, that of picked up with chop-sticks by the oldest representative of the Koya-san, near the great water-falls in Wakayama-Ken, family, enclosed in a funeral urn, and buried after seven 700 English miles south of Tokio, cremation bas been prac- days of various religious observances. tised, as is generally believed, as a religious rite these 1200 It is most regrettable that cremation has not with us that years.

religious origin which recommended it first to the Japanese. Naturally, the rite of incineration had no difficulty in that Reason and good sense have never proved such strong country in passing from the religious conception to a sapi- foundations; otherwise the advisability of the cremation of tary application. The first sanitary cremation edict was cholera corpses would have occurred to us long ago. It is issued by the government in 1718, during an epidemic which useless to oject that these precautions do not preserve Japan seems to have been very destructive. Japanese documents from cholera epidemics. The disease is kept up there by speak of that period with trembling awe; 80,000 a month causes which cannot be reached by cremation. The houses died in the city of Yedo; undertakers could not make coffins are built in unhealthy places, they are squalid and in every fast enough: grave-yards were all filled up. The Japanese way insalubrious; the water is wretched, infected by imare singularly struck by the idea that the men who worked purities dropping from ill-kept closets. There would be no at the cremation furnaces after sunset were themselves end, if we tried to enumerate all the causes of disease, which changed into smoke before sunrise, and that the tomb stone render the wisest precautions useless. None of these causes cutters of a day found (horribile visu !) their own names exists in our western countries, and the cremation of cholera carved on the morrow's tombstones! Finally the priests of corpses would have yielded its whole sanitary benefit. If all the sects united in asking for a general application of the we burned our corpses, the bacillus would be destroyed effeccremation rite; ashes alone, they said, should be buried; at tively; in Japan, the dejections of the living, contaminating every burial-ground mountains of casks discouraged the the well-water, the system of promiscuous public bathing, diligence of the grave-digger; a multitude of corpses (the etc., keep it alive in spite of the cremation. Japanese documents have the simplicity to add that they When the cholera, some years back, made its appearance, were mostly poor persons) remained unburied for weeks. not in New York, indeed, but in its harbor, - that is, in the The Japanese have long believed that this was a cholera epi. quarantine station, - having been brought by an Italian

immigrant ship, the dead were buried on Staten Island at the quarantine burying-grounds. If we were as ready to profit by past observation as we ought to be, cremation would have been introduced then and there. For in 1866, when some cholera immigrants had been buried on Ward's Island, an epidemic started almost immediately in the part of the city nearest to that burial-ground; there, in 93d Street and 3d Avenue, the first case occurred. This was certainly a fact to be taken into serious consideration. No man interested in the health of his fellows will be content to say that this was only chance. And if it is more than chance, why then has it never been proposed to prevent the propagation of the disease by fire, as other peoples have long been accustomed to do?

There are four rules, by observing which we can absolutely prevent cholera from setting foot on this continent:

1. Let the drinking-water be perfectly isolated; that is, keep the cholera germs from the drinking-water.

2. Let the fæces and other discharges be disinfected with quick-lime or common white-wash. This is, by the way, wbat Professor Koch recommended to the Central Sanitary Board of Japan.

3. Let the clothing be disinfected with dry heat, 100° C., and afterwards with steam.

4. Finally, let the cholera corpse be cremated instead of buried.

4 King Street, New York.

The blackbird confines himself to the ground in his efforts for acorn meats, and I have yet to see him in a tree with one. Walking up sedately to an acorn, and making no effort to seize or confine it, it strikes savagely and almost aimlessly. Its bill frequently glances, and the splintered shell dances about, until at last a huge piece of the kernel is dragged out, after which the bird leaves for otber quarters or begins on another acorn.

The jay swoops down with flaunting blue wings, and, seizing the largest acorn on the ground, flies to the nearest convenient limb or onto the decayed ridge-board of an adjacent building. There, firmly pressing the nut between his' big, black feet, he hammers away with a vengeance, and quickly tears off nearly half of the shell, after which it proceeds to pick out the meat in small bits. The cup is often left nearly perfect, the jay never making an effort to secure the nut entire, which he could easily do.

Walking under the oaks, one can readily tell whether the woodpeckers, blackbirds, or jays have been at work among the acorns, by the appearance of the mutilated shell-remains lying about.

Kalamazoo, Michigan.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.

a

ACORN-EATING BIRDS.

BY MORRIS GIBBS, M.D. In Michigan there are, to my knowledge, six species of birds which feed on acorns. Of these, the passenger-pigeon and mourning-dove swallow the acorn entire, with its shell intact, only removing the cup or rough outside covering. The white-bellied nut-hatch occasionally hoards the acorns away, and only draws on its store after some months, and when the firm sbelly covering readily gives away to its sharp, prying bill. The other tbree are the well-known blue-jay, common crow-blackbird, and redheaded woodpecker. The methods employed by these birds in opening an acorn are so entirely different, that a description may not be uninteresting to your readers.

Kalamazoo City is nestled in a valley which was once nearly filled with oak trees, and large numbers of the burr-oak, Quercus macrocarpa, are still standing. The acorns of these trees, sometimes called over-cup or mossy-cup, are nearly ripe and are now falling, and the birds which feed on them gather to satisfy their love for the nutritious kernels. So far as I am able to learn, the birds, except in rare instances, do not pick the acorns from the tree, but have to content themselves with the fallen fruit. Occasionally one sees a bird attempting to pick an acorn, but it is rarely a success, as the twigs are small and do not accommodate the swaying bird well, and, moreover, at this season of the year, many acorns are still strongly attached.

The red head, deigning to descend to the ground, seizes an acorn, and flying with it in its bill to a spot where there is a small cavity in the dead portion of a trunk, or to a crevice in the bark, immediately begins to hammer it with its sbarp-pointed bill. In a couple of strokes it has removed the outer shell or cup, and at once attacks the still green-colored shell which directly surrounds the meat. The inside, or shell proper, quickly gives way, usually nearly in balves, and the woodpecker enjoys the kernel. The redbead rarely comes into the city, and is never here continuously, but at this season he is quite often geen and heard, and I have thought that the acorns brought him. The woodpeckers are as nearly strict insect-feeders as any birds we have, unless an exception is made of the swifts and swallows, yet here is an instance of a varied diet. However, the red-head is quickly satisfied in the acorn line, and soon begins circling the trunk, or more often limbs, for his legitimate food.

Correspondents are requested to be as brief as possible. The writer's name is in all cases required as proof of good faith.

On request in advance, one hundred copies of the number containing his communication will be furnished free to any correspondent.

The editor will be glad to publish any queries consonant with the character of the journal.

The Intelligence of a Horse. CAN a horse reason, or does he act solely from instinct? Mapy believe that he has reason and intelligence; others attribute all his acts to instinct. As a help to elucidate this question, I wish to present the readers of Science the following statement of facts based on long and close observation.

I have a horse, now nineteen years old, that I have owned tbirteen years. I have used him all this time almost every day, harnessed to a buggy, in going back and forth to my office. He is very gentle, good-natured, and kind, and has never shown any vices. Soon after I commenced using him, I noticed that on Sundays, whenever I drove bim down-town, be strongly insisted, by pulling on the lines, on going to the church where I had been in the habit of attending. I watched this disposition constantly after tbat, and on every Sunday since, when driven out, he has continued to do the same thing, and, if left to his own will, invariably goes to the church and stops. I thought it possible that he was guided by the ringing of the church bells, and tested him by driving him down-town at all hours of the day, before and after the ringing of the bells; but the result was the same. He invariably insisted on going to church on that day, no matter how often I drove him down-town. My office is one block west and one north of the church, and a half-mile west of my residence. In going to church I usually turn south one block east of the office, but sometimes go around by the office, where I usually drive him every morning and afternoon. In going to my office he never offers to go to the church except on Sunday, but on that day he invariably begins to turn south to the street leading to the church, from fifty to a hundred feet before reaching the crossing, and, if not checked, turns into the street and hurries to the church. He has kept this up for at least twelve years. He never does this on any other day than Sunday. In bad weather or in good weather it is the same, although at the office much of the time he has had stable protection from bad weather. On week-days he often insists on going to the stable in bad weather; but on Sunday, even when I compel him to go by the way of the stable, he pulls over to the opposite side of the street, and hurries on to the church, if permitted, though he may have to stand out in the cold, rain,

or snow.

Sometimes, from one cause or another, he has not been taken away from home from one to four weeks, and I supposed that he would lose the run of time, or at least show some hesitation and uncertainty; but not so. On the first Sunday after I drove him out, he insisted, as before, on going to church. He never offers to go

66

there any other day of the week, though the church bells are rung what is; that they enjoy, but do not understand; that reason works and numerous services are held nearly every day.

upon and through them, but is not in them. The facts that I If on Sunday I go to the post-office, which is on the north-west have related and observed make me greatly doubt many of these corner of the street-crossing, where we usually turn south to the statements. I find it hard to sharply define the limits between church, instead of going from there direct to the office as on other ipstinct and reason. The facts that I have related indicate readays, be turns to the south and goes to the church. He never son, intelligence, motives, and the formulation of plans, methods, willingly goes to the post-office on Sunday, but always stops there and schemes for carrying out preconceived purposes. Some of on week-days of his own accord, if permitted. Many times I have the acts, at least, indicate pure reason based upon former and retaken other streets on Sunday and approached the church from menbered sensations, perceptions, and knowledge, and the purpose other directions; but in all cases, when left free, be invariably to gratify merely mental desires. takes the first street leading to the church. I have experimented What motive does this horse bave for going to church every with him very largely in tbis respect, with a view to learning Sunday, even at a sacrifice sometimes? It is not for rest, it is not bow be keeps the run of time, but am unable to satisfactorily shelter, it is not feed, it is not company, it is not to gratify any account for it. I have also observed and experimented with him merely physical want, for all these things he has elsewhere every in a great many other ways, and have taught him to know the day. Is it not purely an intellectual or moral want that he seeks meaning of many words.

to gratify? He stands near the church door, hears much of the When alarmed at anything, he looks back to me with a fright- exercises, especially the singing, and will remain, almost without ened look, as much as to say,

“ Will it harm me?" On my say- motion, wbether tied or not, till the services are over, and I am ing to him, “All right, go on,” be moves on. If much frightened, ready to go home. But it cannot be for the diere speaking and he will repeatedly look back for assurance from me.

singing that he hears there, for he often bears speaking, singing, He knows the meaning of many words, such as office, post- concerts, the Salvation Army, and music of various kinds while office, school-house, mill, farm, cemetery, cburch, apple, corn, be stands tied at the office on the public square; but none of these grass, water, and many others. The fact that be knows the mean- take the place of his church-going. ing of these words, or at least attaches a mear to them, I have These facts I have given as tending to illustrate and explain tested many times in many ways, the relation of which would

animal intelligence. I have given only such as I have verified make this paper too long. When his corn is about used up, if I

many times.

T. B. REDDING. speak of it to him and say, Deck, your corn is out; you must go Newcastle, Ind., Aug. 22. to the mill,” even before starting from home, he turns in at the mill as I go by, and goes up to the office door where I have been in the babit of ordering bis food. Sometimes I have forgotten it by

The English Sparrow and our Native Birds. the time I come opposite the mill, and would have gone by; but I am obliged to send a different report regarding the influence he has not forgotten it, and turns in. If I say to him, “Do you of the English sparrow on the presence of native wild birds in a want an apple ?” of which he is very fond, he puts on the most country village. wistful look and does all in his power to say that he does; and if In 1874–5 there were not more than one or two pairs of these the apple is not produced at once, he begins to explore my pockets foreigners in the village of Fort Edward. In less than ten years and clothing with bis nose in search of an apple suspected to be they numbered hundreds, and long since seemed to have reached concealed about my person. If I say to him, “Do you want the limit of the winter-food capacity of the district, being disgrass ?” he at once shows that he expects to be turned out upon tributed among the farmers' barns as well as in the village. pasture.

Before their arrival the chipping sparrow was plentiful; now it He also knows a number of people by name and where they is seldom seen. The song-sparrow nested frequently; I have not reside; and if told to stop at the residence of one of them, naming seen them in the village as residents for several years. Catbirds him, he will do so, without any guiding.

were not infrequent; now they come in the early spring for a few These are only a few of the many evidences of his intelligence. days, then disappear, though thickets on the river-bank near the Hundreds of examples might be given showing his knowledge and town are especially favorable. Summer yellow-birds built often intelligence, and that be gives very close attention to and under- in the low trees; I bave not seen a single resident this summer. stands what is said to him.

Wilson's thrush also was an occasional resident; none have been Do not these facts strongly indicate that the horse has more here for four or five years. The vireo used to build and sing in than mere instinct, that be reasons; that out of the store-house of the elms and apple-trees; they are very rare indeed now. The his knowledge and experience he forms conclusions, thoughts, wood-phæbes, though their early morning song is still heard, are purposes, and plans? He understands certain symbols, such as few in number where they were once abundant. The robin is words; he keeps the run of time and knows uniformly when Sun. almost the sole bird, in so far as I have observed, that bolds his day comes, for he has not made a mistake in this respect for more own regardless. I will except also the black martin, or house than twelve years past; he uses many and diverse means for martin, who manages to turn out about four-fifths of the sparmaking his wants known.

rows. The other fifth so blockade the entrance to the holes with Instinct is supposed to imply inherited knowledge of objects their nests that the martin is effectually shut out. Bluebirds too and relations in respect to which it is exercised, and will usually, have left us, they are too weak, and too refined in their tastes to if not always, operate where there is no experience to guide. But long live neighbors to such low-lived little beasts as the filth-lovthis horse's knowledge, in these respects, has not been inherited, ing, quarrelsome, meddlesome sparrows. but is acquired. He never was at this church till he was six I have a box in my garden which the sparrows do not dare to years old. His mother was probably never there. In instinct occupy, for they know me. But the bluebirds, who formerly there is no necessary knowledge of means and ends implied, nested there, come occasionally in the spring, have a tilt or two though such knowledge may be present, but instinct is always in the trees with the sparrows, then leave in disgust. Probably manifested in like manner by all individuals of the same species, no native wild bird begins to have the mental development and under like circumstances, which is certainly not true in this case. quick wit possessed by the English sparrow. But all his wit runs

Hence I infer that this horse does reason; that he has a high to saving his precious self from danger and from exertion; hence degree of intelligence, even much more than he is able to make he will, without doubt, persist. See, for example, how little strength us understand and appreciate.

he uses in avoiding danger. He just gets beyond range of whip But does the fact of his observing Sunday imply a moral or stone, and sits and calmly looks you over. He avoids poison sense? Why does he seek to go to the church on that day? It with as much foresight as you could, and will starve rather than has been said that animals do reasonable things without having eat suspected food. He rolls in mud and dirt, oblivious of all the gift of reason; that they do things involving distant foresight else, just for the fun of having a lively squabble with some fellow, without having any knowledge of the future; that they work for and when it is over is pecking about in the next ten seconds as if that which is to be without seeing or feeling Lanything beyond nothing had happened.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »