Abbildungen der Seite

Lyric Garland "The Silence of Amor: Prose Rhythms" by Fiona Macleod, and a volume of lyrics by Lucy Lyttleton, the title of which will be announced later. He will publish also, among other miscellaneous books, a collection of prose and verse entitled "Amphora" edited by the editor of The Bibelot; and Il Pesceballo, opera in one act, by Francis J. Child and James Russell Lowell. Of the latter, only 5 50 copies will be printed, and of these 40 will be for sale. Lovers of rare books will appreciate this opportunity.e


The mtitude of readers who enjoyed "Miss Billy" will welcome the second volume which deals with that delightful young person. The new book by Eleanor H. Porter is called "Miss Billy's Decision" and the title itself arouse immediate interest, inasmuch as M Billy appeared to have "decided" } ago. With the introduction of ¡y three really new characters, the story moves on in the old surroundings. Indeed there are not many entirely new situations-Aunt Kate introduces the "Apple of Discord" a second time, and the identity of one "Mary Jane" is the same sort of puzzle and surprise as was Miss Billy's own at the start. However, Miss Billy is a very charming personality, and one can forgive the sequel a few shortcomings for the sake of meeting her once more. It is a book which, picked up in a weary moment, will furnish an hour or so of good-nature, warmth and contentment. L. C. Page & Co.

Mrs. Julia de Wolf Addison's "The Spell of England"— published by L. C. Page & Co. in the "Spell Series"may be used either as a supplement to existing guide-books or as a substitute for them, and in either case will be found an agreeable and sprightly companion; while the multitude of people who, even in these days of abundant

travel facilities still do most of their traveling at their own firesides, will turn its pages with pleasure, and will follow the author on her journeyings through picturesque and historic scenes with unflagging interest, from her walks about Warwick, Kenilworth and Stratford, with which the narrative opens, to her journeyings along the southern coast, with which it closes. The England of the past and the England of to-day blend pleasantly in these pages, for Mrs. Addison has a keen appreciation of natural beauty, of art and architecture, and of personal and historic associations; and she has also a happy faculty of enlivening her descriptions with bits of personal experience. Fifty or more full-page illustrations-the frontispiece in color-decorate the volume.

Compared with the number of accounts which Americans have written of their experiences abroad, there are only a few records of impressions which our country has made upon Europeans. Novel and interesting is an account of the visit which two young Scotch girls make in the United States, in "An American Wooing" by Florence Drummond. The story is told by the elder of the two travelers, and her observations upon what she sees in Boston and its suburbs, Bar Harbor, Gloucester and Concord are well worth reading. It is interesting to note the individuals who are selected as typical Americans. In some instances they seem a trifle exaggerated, but who can assert that our own novels which describe characters abroad come any nearer the truth? A striking charac teristic of the book is its spirit of fair mindedness and its genuine interest. The contrasting personalities of the two young women are very cleverly brought out, and the style of the narrative is distinctive and pleasing. Houghton, Mifflin Company.

[blocks in formation]

II. The Religion of the Frenchman. By A. L. Lilley.

CONTEMPORARY REVIEW 719 III. The Staying Guest. Chapters III and IV. By Mrs. Alfred Sidgwick. (To be continued.)

IV. The Making of the Panama Canal.

TIMES 726 By Charles Paxton Markham. BLACK WOOD'S MAGAZINE 737

V. The Poems of Edmund Gosse By Alfred Noyes.

[ocr errors]


VI. The Lady of the Canaries. By St. John Lucas (To be continued.)

VII. The American Vice-Presidency.
Vill. In Memoriam-William Booth. By Owen Seaman.
IX. M. Poincare's Visit to Russia.

[ocr errors]

X. The Week-End Party. By Filson Young.
XI. The Subjection of Man.









XII. The Country to the Town. By S. Gertrude Ford.

XIII. Drifting. From the Chinese of Li Po.
XIV. Burnt-Out. By C. Farmar.


[ocr errors][merged small]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]





FOR SIX DOLLARS, remitted directly to the Publishers, THE LIVING AGE will be punctually for warded for a year, free of postage, to any part of the United States. To Canada the postage is 50 cents per annum.

Remittances should be made by bank draft or check, or by post-office or express money order if possible. If neither of these can be procured, the money should be sent in a registered letter. All postmasters are obliged to register letters when requested to do so. Drafts, checks express and money orders should be made payable to the order of THE LIVING AGE CO.

Single Copies of THE LIVING AGE, 15 cents.



Gay the gems you wear at night—
A thousand facets, all one light!
Rich the robes you don by day-
One glory, though your heart is gray,
I see your shining strands of hair:
Gold, much gold, is tangled there.

But I have seen, I have seen
The silver daisies light the green,
Have shared the splendors manifold
That are but bought with cowslip-

The brilliants strewn on forest

Is not my realm rich as yours? And the Town said, "Proudly my days go by,"

But the Country made answer, "Queenlier I!"


Many pleasures throng your parks
Between the magic dawns and darks:
Wherefore should you heed the hurts
Of children crying at your skirts?
Pomp of a great King's Parliament,
A great Queen's Court, your pride has

But I have known, I have known
The white Moon on her mountain


Have heard the children laugh to see
The Sun-King's summer revelry,
The pageant of the purpling moors-
Is not my lot high as yours?

And the Town said, "Gaily my days go by,"

And the Country made answer, "Happier I!"

S. Gertrude Ford. The Westminster Gazette.


We cannot keep the gold of yesterday;

Today's dun clouds we cannot roll away.

Now the long, wailing flight of geese brings autumn in its train,

So to the view-tower cup in hand to fill and drink again,

And dream of the greatest singers of the past,

[blocks in formation]



Before I begin to consider the social and political aspects and effects of degeneration, I wish to give once more an exact definition of this term. This can best be done in the words of the writer who first introduced it into science, Dr. B. A. Morel. In his Traité des Dégénérescences he says: "We must regard degeneration as a morbid variation from an original type. This variation . . . includes transmissible elements of such a nature that anyone who carries the germ of them within himself grows continuously less and less capable of fulfilling his tasks in humanity, and that intellectual and moral progress, which is already impeded in his own person, is threatened also in his posterity."

To this I add: "Not merely moral and intellectual progress, but even existence itself." For unless a vigorous renovation and improvement of the organism is induced by means of a fortunate admixture of new blood, degeneration increases from generation to generation, and very quickly reaches a point beyond which the degenerate cannot pass; because he is either genetically incapable or else produces children that are still-born or die in infancy. Woman resists the influences that cause degeneration better than the male, but even she cannot permanently escape them. The degenerate woman becomes less and less able to perform her biological function as child-bearer. In such a woman we observe certain well-known physiological deficiencies which result in sterility. It stands to the credit of Dr. Larcher to have shown that difficult births caused by one or other of these defects are regu

I Translated for the "Hibbert Journal by the Rev. B. W. Lummis, M.A. Translation revised by Dr. Nordau.

lar symptoms of degeneration in a woman. If the degeneration is sufficiently advanced the man cannot beget and the woman cannot bear children. The cycle is. closed. By a process of elimination the race has freed itself from a noxious element. That is the cruel but effectual method by which Nature herself remedies a morbid disturbance in the evolution of a race that is still fit to live, still capable of the strife for existence. This elementary fact of experience was obviously overlooked by Dr. Robert Reid Rentoul, when he proposed the "Sterilization of certain Mental and Physical Degenerates." We need not interfere. The process accomplishes itself automatically.

Let us attempt to understand the mechanism of degeneration. When the organic vigor of parents has, through one of the causes to be adduced later, been weakened, they engender offspring whose morphological elements are, from the outset, of an inferior character. The germs themselves, which break away from the organisms of the parents to unite in producing a new living being, are weak, defective, laden with an insufficient store of life-energy. They are not able to develop up to the goal which a normally strong and healthy individual of the given species can attain and ought to attain. Their evolution comes to a standstill at a greater or less distance from the point which it should reach, or deviates from the line that leads to its natural goal, and pursues a false direction, which is more or less remote from the norm of the species and alien to it. I will try, by means of an illustration familiar to everybody, to make this clear even to readers who are not well versed in biological ways of thought. The healthy and efficient organism may be

compared to a locomotive which is meant to travel, say, along the SouthEastern and Chatham Railway from Victoria to Dover, is provided with the requisite amount of coal and water, is under the charge of a capable driver and a good stoker, runs without a hitch and arrives when it is due. The degenerate organism and its development might be represented by the same locomotive if it were built of poor metal, had a drunken or overworked driver and a lazy and careless stoker, and started with insufficient coal and water. Such an engine is exposed to various mischances on the journey. Being so badly built, it may break an axle or start a leak in the boiler, and be left unable to proceed. The incapacity of its driver and stoker may cause it to leave the metals, or may take it along a wrong branch, or bring it on a blind siding, where it will be wrecked on a bulkhead. The most probable thing that can happen is that, after using up all its coal and water, it should come to a stop through exhaustion, somewhere perhaps between One Sittingbourne and Canterbury. thing is certain: it will not reach its destination at Dover.


As this parable clearly implies, the degenerate individual deviates from the racial type either through a check in development or through erratic formation. Arrested development results in atavism, where the individual comes to a stop at an early point on the road over which the species has travelled, and cannot go further. ratic development leads to monstrosities, which do not correspond to any point which the species, in its normal development, has ever passed. All the anomalies of degeneration can be referred to these two formulas-arrested or aberrant development, atavism or monstrosity-but as a rule they combine the two.

The origin of degeneration, as was

suggested above, is to be sought in the unsatisfactory condition of one or of both parents at the time of procreation. Here, again, the multiplicity of the individual cases is merely the various expression of one simple, fundamental law. The organism has been rendered inefficient either through a morbid change in the chemical character of its cell-plasm and its fluid, or through an impoverishment of its vital power. The morbid change is in all cases an intoxication, which may be brought about by the introduction of poisonous substances such as alcohol, morphia, cocaine, and the like, or through the toxins of pathogenetic, parasitical micro-organisms like Koch's tubercular bacillus, Laveran's microzoon of malaria, Schaudinn's treponema, and so forth. Impoverishment sets in when the organism has been overworked. Whenever catabolism, the decomposition of organic material that goes on during activity, outweighs anabolism, the building up of material that goes on during rest, the organism is growing insolvent and making progress, gradually or swiftly, towards bankruptcy. Excessive fatigue not only causes structural changes in tissue, but also brings about an accumulation of waste matter, too great or too concentrated for the emunctory organs to dispose of adequately. In their effect on the organism these waste substances are toxins, and it may well be that what we call fatigue and exhaustion is ultimately nothing but an intoxication; in that case intoxication would be the only source of that deterioration of the organism which leads to degeneracy in its offspring.

Weismann has attempted to deny that the germ of life which is transmitted by parents to offspring can share in the change sustained by the parental organism. To future historians of science it will be a matter for astonishment that such an extravagant

« ZurückWeiter »