« ElőzőTovább »
sit upon and breathe the air more freely be some moral limit put upon the cruel before they are able to fly, and though it "conflict for existence”! The ant which, is possible that such cases may be ex without language, we suppose, had plained by the mere automatic action of anticipated Shakespeare's thought that,Mr. Darwin's principle that a useful vari
The poor beetle that we tread upon ation, though in some sense accidental at
In corporal sufferance finds a pang as great first, will always tend to perpetuate itself, As when a giant dies, that is not a principle which it is quite easy to apply to so elaborate an institu- -- and had done more than Shakespeare, tion as the domestication of a blind bee- had made the thought the foundation of tle, or an aphis in the capacity of milch a domestic institution, for the humane cow, or to the artistic social amusements (or rather formican) treatment of beetles, of the Bower birds, as quoted by Mr. might yet be slain without the dimmest Darwin from Mr. Gould. It seems to be knowledge of it on our part, by some now really contemplated as at least pos- carelessly flung stone. And surely this sible by our naturalists that among sev- would be a still more painful supposition eral of the least powerful species of ani- than the Arabian superstition that, in mals, insects certainly included, there has flinging nutshells about, you might chance been at one time at all events, real prog- to wound an invisible génie in the eye. ress, progress in the nature of a utilized There would be something almost intoldiscovery either beneficial or delightful erable in the thought that the most to the whole race.
unquestionable moral and intellectual Now if this were to be ever established advances were being made in a world not in relation to any one of the more insig- indeed absolutely invisible to us, but still nificant animals, what a new feeling of so inaccessible to us in general, that we moral embarrassment it would add to life could not by any possibility take account to think that at any moment, by a careless of what was going on in it in our ordinary tread, or an accident of the plough, we procedure, — that we might be murdermight be putting a term to the life of a ing a whole army of industrial captains great reformer in one of the regions of whenever we pulled up a tree, and blightlife too minute for any intelligent commu-ing the intellectual or social prospects of nication between our world and its, a progressive race whenever we rode that the prospects of a great race of ants, over an ant-hill. Yet much that we hear for instance, had been suddenly blighted now-a-days compels the conjecture that by the untimely slaughter not merely of there may be a degree of conscious life a“ village Hampden or an “ inglorious and knowledge, not quite impossible even Milton" amongst ants, but, far worse, of of moral sympathy, in some of the most an active and notable personage who was insignificant, as regards size, of all our leading the way in new investigation, or fellow-creatures.
Yet there is, unquesthe new organization of discoveries al- tionably, something very paralyzing to ready made? In that case it might even the imagination in the notion of all this be possible that the blind and helpless possible world of wisdom in a mite or a beetles are tended, neither from any feel- water-drop, a world as much beyond our ing of superstition, nor for the sake of recognition as if it were infinitely above any service that they render to the ants our apprehension. It is as if a clumsy who tend them, but only as a recognition Titan might ruin all the civilization of of the duty of compassion towards a per- our earth by a tap of his fist, or even fectly helpless tribe, - that in fact, this ! break up the earth itself by a stumble. tending of the beetles is of the nature of Did such an accident to our world seem a home or orphanage for beetles, and that really probable, we should soon learn to the ant who began the custom was a sort make light of studies of which our hold of Lord Shaftesbury among ants, instead was so precarious ; and it is, therefore, of, as Sir John Lubbock hints, a kind of nearly impossible for us to attribute sinIgnatius Loyola, instituting a grim cultus cerely to any minute world, liable thus to of superstition. If that were the case, be ruined by our blunderings, the kind imagine the sense of dismay with which of conscious progress and growing civwe should reflect that by any step of ilization which are sometimes half-huwhich we were supremely unconscious mourously ascribed to its inhabitants by we might have put a tragic end to a great the observers of insect life. Struggle as and philanthropic career,
we may, we cannot divide the idea of marked by the first recognition amongst conscious progress, even in mere social insects of the principle that there should 'organization, from a moral significance
which would render it impossible to be these creatures hold in our world is lieve that any superior race could over- inconsistent with any durability in the throw it by mere clumsiness. In other moral and intellectual issues to which words, we cannot separate conscious they would on that hypothesis have atwisdom, even in the administration of an tained, and that we are compelled to empire of ants, from its source in the believe in such durability by a faith deeper conscious wisdom which guides that than any power of observation. It is an greater universe, of which we are our invincible belief in Providence which selves minute parts, and cannot therefore makes even naturalists regard rather as a believe that anything so great as true paradox of fancy, than as a scientito intellectual or moral progress can be inference, the intellectual and moral liable to constant destruction at the hands qualities which certain phenomena would of creatures at once capable of sympathy otherwise legitimately suggest as belong. with it, and yet quite ignorant of what ing to several insect tribes. they are destroying. It would be as easy to think that the solitary wasp, which, according to Sir John Lubbock, has “the instinct” of stinging the prey destined to be the food of its young, directly they are
From The Spectator. hatched, in the centre of the nervous
THE UNITED STATES AND SPAIN. system, so as to render them helpless, RUMOURS of wars fill the air, and one and yet not to kill them, -(for if they of the most threatening of them is that were to die, they would be decomposed which concerns the relations of the before the young wasp needed them for United States and Spain. It is fortunate food), - acts on scientific surgical prin- for the Spaniards that Señor Castelar's ciples, as to attribute the conscious life Government is regarded at Washington of discovery and of economic administra- with a certain exceptional tenderness, for tion to creatures so much the sport of if it were otherwise, it would be very diffiaccidents as the ants. We know that cult indeed for it to avert the declaration human advance is liable to no really of war, and the immediate annexation of arbitrary catastrophes of this kind, and Cuba to the United States. As it is, the we can hardly doubt that any similar consequences will very probably not be so progress even in a world beneath our own, serious. There has always been a strong would be equally safe from it. Even an party in the United States extremely opatheist could hardly be found who would posed to the extension of its Negro terconsent to believe that art, intellect, and ritory, especially in cases where the new nobility greater than ours are constantly territorial additions are likely to afford opsuccumbing to our idlest whims, – só portunities for an unconstitutional and deeply ingrained is the faith in a moral tyrannical deportation of Negroes from providence, even in those who reject the the Southern States to a Negro world of faith in God. And we hold that the their own. This party, which is as strong deep incredulity with which even the as it is sober, will find its hands greatly most serious naturalists obviously treat strengthened by the cordial sympathy their own very plausible conjectures as which is sure to be felt with Señor Cas. to the grander' possibilities of the “infin- telar's hard-beset Government, and tre itely little” worlds into the affairs of should, therefore, be surprised to hear which they inquire so acutely, is but the that the conduct of the United States, profound 'testimony of their hearts and under the grave circumstances which are consciences to the providence which now reported, had been anything but iorguarantees a certain real durability to all bearing and generous. Yet forbearance the higher stages of intellectual and moral and generosity certainly do not and canlife. As far as we can see, but for this not involve acquiescence in the monstrous ineradicable faith, nothing would be more cruelty of the Spanish Government in plausible than to credit the ant with a Cuba, which has for the time apparently sort of Roman faculty for insect organ- shaken itself free from all the trammels ization and Empire ; and if the effort to of the mother-country through a conrendo so is a mere sign of humour, which it ient fracture of the telegraph wire. This is impossible to regard as serious, we left it at liberty to butcher the captires it take it that the explanation is, not that has made in the American blockade-runthe facts commented on forbid the infer- ner Virginius without absolutely disobey. ence, but that our knowledge of the ing the orders received from home. The subordinate and dependent place which Virginius was, as far as we know, an
American blockade-runner, which was ought to have been tried by the ordinary carrying supplies of contraband articles civil tribunal, and proved to have been to the insurgents in Cuba. It was cap- engaged in an attempt to make war on tured by the Spaniards after a long chase Spain before they could legally have been just before it had reached the neutral punished at all. Presumably, the Ameriwaters on the coast of Jamaica,- six can or other neutrals on board the Virmiles from the land. The Spanish au- ginius were quite as little liable to a penthorities have, it is certain, tried, con- alty, beyond the confiscation of any demned, and executed a very consider- of the cargo of the ship which might have able number of those on board, includ- belonged to them, as the persons in the ing one unquestionably American subject, English ship Deerhound, who were lately General Ryan, apparently also the cap- captured and released by the Spanish tain, Captain Fry, and possibly other Government, after a successful effort to Americans, for piracy -as was said at land a cargo of arms for the Carlist troops. first-or whatever offence they choose The United States would do very ill to to call it. It seems clear that at the last bear longer the unscrupulous barbarity advices there had been already as many of the Spanish authorities in Cuba. Noas fifty executions out of 165 prisoners, body can blame President Grant if he and that a great many of the remainder should declare that as Spain, with all the were being dealt with with all possible good-will in the world, cannot protect despatch," a phrase which probably im- American interests in Cuba, he must inplies plenty of butchery. Of course, this struct his own commanders to do what is not a kind of proceeding which the Spain cannot do, even though that should American Government can afford to tol- prove to involve taking temporary poserate. If it could have been satisfactori- session of the island, and defeating the ly proved that the Americans were al- Spanish forces now in possession of it. ready committed to the cause of the Cu- This would be easy to do, with, of course, ban 'rebellion, and were sailing only in the enthusiastic help of the Cuban rebels; order to make war on Spain, then im- and it might be that he could make terms prisonment would certainly have been for Cuba, and give it back again to Spain justified, though, not being captured in if, as we hope, American opinion were arms, they would hardly have been shot moderate and wise enough to wish to under any military code. But in any give it back, under guarantees which case, it is clear that the United States would practically secure the formal abolihad a full right to insist on the delay tion of slavery, the withdrawal of the innecessary for a full and fair trial of their vading Spanish army from the island, subjects, and for the clearest proofs that and the recognition by Spain of the they were implicated in the hostile opera- leaders of the insurgent party as entitled tions against a friendly nation. This has for the future to govern in her name and not only not been accorded, but there with her authority. Such a result would has been the most indecent haste to we think, be the best which can be exevade a civil trial, General Ryan having pected from the present imbroglio. apparently been one of the first victims In the meantime, we should only exof the Court-Martial. Of course the pect that this incident could lead to a United States have despatched additional general war between Spain and America, ships-of-war to Cuba to look after their in case that Spanish pride, which Ameriinterests there, since Señor Castelar, cans and Englishmen so little understand, with all his good-will, is quite unable to should impose on Señor Castelar's Govrestrain his unruly subordinates, and the ernment a necessity for doing, in defence whole Spanish Press of Cuba gloat over of the national honour, the most foolish the premature butchery. Now as it is thing he possibly could do. If Spain not a criminal offence at all simply to be goes to war with America for her intera passenger or one of the crew of a mere vention in Cuba,- an intervention which blockade-runner, nothing can be more we
be inevitable, monstrous than this hurry to execute then, of course, Cuba will be annexed, men whose offence should have been and there most likely it will end. Spain proved in the most careful way. It is, has no spare force for the gigantic indeed, next to impossible that all the task of a great naval war with such persons butchered can have been guilty a power, and the only use of declaring of any offence. Of course Cuban rebels war would be to give the Carlists a taken on board were legally at the mercy new and quite immeasurable advantage, of their Spanish captors, but all others through the blow it would cause to Span
ish commerce, on which the purse of the ling, and that no great power can permit Madrid Government depends. If Span- them to suffer thus without interference, iards can put their pride into their pocket, Under such circumstances, it seems to as President Lincoln and Mr. Seward put us that Señor Castelar could hardly play their pride into their pocket under very a better game than to avail himself of similar circumstances when the Trent this incident for the restoration of order affair took place in 1861, the true policy in Cuba by a powerful and friendly Govfor Spain is to continue to declare in the sernment, which is very likely to play into strongest way its regret for what has oc- the hands of Spain supposing the United curred, and its determination to give the States are treated with frankness and United States any indemnity that is deference. That is, we confess, what, as practicable, — and further to sanction, it seems to us, the Republican Governnegatively at least, and if possible to con- ment in Spain ought to attempt. Whether trol by concerted action, the American the unreasoning and morbid Spanish intervention now menaced. It is per- pride will admit of a policy which is so fectly true and obvious to all the world capable of a humiliating interpretation, that Spain has not the power to restore we confess that we cannot but doubt. order in Cuba, and that the United States, But we are quite sure that if it will not, if they choose, have. It is also true that far greater humiliations are in store for it, American interests are seriously suffer-land that they are by no means far off.
THE QUOTATION OF AMERICAN SECURI- | DISCOVERY IN SWITZERLAND. – Antiqua
We are glad to see that the Committee ries have been of the opinion that the weapons of the Stock Exchange proposes, from the and implements of bronze found in Switzerland beginning of next year, to adopt a change in have been manufactured, not in that country, the official par of exchange which has been but beyond the Alps, and that they had been fixed for dealing in securities expressed in obtained thence by the Helvetians in the way American currency. The present official par of trade. Latterly, however, a few more have is 4s 6d per dollar, which is widely different been discovered in France and Germany; and from the real par, and the consequence is that very recently Dr. Gros, of Neuville, has made to allow for this difference the current quota- a discovery in the course of researches at the tions in dollars are much below what they lake station of Meyringen, a site remarkable would be if the exchange at which they were for the quantity and excellent condition of to be converted into sterling approximated bronzes which have been found. Here the more closely to the real exchange between the doctor has unearthed sundry highly interesting dollar and the pound. It is proposed, accord- things, among which are crucible-beds, chaningly, to substitute 4s for 4s 6d, and by this nels for the overflowing metal and other change the difference will be hardly apprecia- matters, giving evidence that a foundry had ble, so that the current quotations in future existed on the spot; besides a large number will represent somewhat closely the actual pro- of moulds for the castings. portion of the price of the stocks and shares quoted to the price of issue or nominal par. In the autumn of 1843 Mr. Bright was anAs it is, American securities are at a constant nounced to attend a public meeting in Ainapparent discount, even when they are at or wick, and these were the words in which the above par, and the quotation is necessarily editor of the Newcastle Journal referred to the puzzling. Mr. Richardson, the Secretary of event: “ It is stated (says the Tory editor) the American Treasury, whose appeal on this that Bright, the anti-Corn-law agitator, is exsubject we noticed lately, will be pleased to pected to visit the wool fair which will be held see that his object will be so quickly accom- at Alnwick shortly, in order to scatter the plished, — that the improved quotation of seeds of disaffection in that quarter. Should American securities on the London Stock Ex- he make his appearance, which is not imchange will commence simultaneously with the probable (for the fellow has impudence for amended quotation of the New York Ex- anything of this sort), it is to be hoped there change on London, directly representing the may be found some stalwart yeoman ready to relation of the dollar to the £ sterling. The treat the disaffected vagabond as he deserves." persistence of the old official forms of quota- This " disaffected vagabond” is now a cabinet tion, which are now to be altered, is one of the minister, and the principles he advocated at most curious proofs of the conservatism of the Alnwick wool fair in 1843 have long since trade customs.
Economist. become a law.
JAMES R. NICHOLS, M.D., Editor. WM. 7. ROLFE, A.M., Associate Editor. Published at One Dollar per annum, in advance.
Specimen Copies furnished free upon application. THIS JOURNAL OF POPULAR SCIENCE, in the brief period of seven years, has attained a circulation larger, it is believed, than any other periodical of its class, either in Europe or the United States. Its general plan or scope is unlike that of any other publication in the world, inasmuch as it undertakes to present the living facts and the latest discoveries in at least four great departments of human knowledge. It treats of
HOME SCIENCE, THE ARTS, AGRICULTURE, AND MEDICINE, in a way which commends it at once to physicians, druggists, chemists, teachers farmers, mechanics, - in short, to professional and practical men of every class.
Subscriptions may commence at any time. To test its value, send the publishers FIFTY CENTS, and receive it for six MONTHS. Those who take it six months are sure to become permanent subscribers.
Address BILLINGS, CLAPP, & CO., 34 Oliver Street, Boston. $5to$20 per day. Agents wanted! All classes of working peo $10 TO $20 work tor us in their apare moments, or all the time, than at anything per day. Agents wanted everywhere. Particulars free. else. Particulars free Address G. Stinson & Co., Portland, Haine. A. H. BLAIR & CO., St. Louis, Mo.