« ZurückWeiter »
question. Let us inquire whence came the millions of flaked implements of quartz, quartzite, chert, flint, slate, argillite, jasper, and novaculite that cover the hills and valleys of America, that occur upon every fishing-ground, shell bank, refuse heap, and village site occupied by the American aborigines, historic and prehistoric? They did not grow to be picked like ripe fruit from trees, nor could they have been dug up like potatoes from the ground. Where are the quarries and the shops from which the Indian secured his enormous supplies? For every million of spear and arrow points, knives, perforators, and scrapers - and there were many millions used by him - there are somewhere in America many times as many millions of broken and malformed failures of the very kind found in our quarries and shops, and where are they now but in these quarries and shops? The conclusion is inevitable. The finished and the unfinished (or rude) forms complement each other, and constitute a unit in art and in time. It was only our entire lack of knowledge of the subject that made other theories necessary or other conclusions possible.
These determinations with respect to the nature of the great body of the rudely-flaked stones of America may be expected to have some bearing upon the question of the occupation of this continent in glacial times by a people not yet advanced beyond the primal or palæolithic stage of culture, since the theory of that occupation is based upon the discovery of closely analogous objects in the gravels and elsewhere.
Before the refuse of quarrying and manufacture were studied and the true nature of the rudely-flaked forms determined, these objects had been quite extensively collected, and because of their rudeness and their supposed close resemblance to the early forms of European flaked-stone tools, had been classed as palæolithic and were so labelled in many museums, and as such found a place in the archæologic literature of both continents. It is now conceded by scientific men that this is all wrong, and that in the present state of our knowledge the separation of a single specimen from the main body of flaked stone art in America, save upon purely geologic evidence, is wholly unwarranted.
It is manifestly folly to attempt to select from the mass of these objects certain individual specimens to be arbitrarily called palæolithic. The selections made are quite as likely to be the youngest as the oldest. It is a well-established fact that many of the rudest flaked forms known, the simplest possible art shapes, are obtained from the shell-deposits and from the soapstone quarries of the eastern United States, and thus represent the most modern phases of neolithic Indian work in stone. Even if it be conceded for the sake of argument that there are multitudes of true palæolithic objects and implements scattered over the country, it is certain that up to the present date we have established no standards of form-comparison by means of which they can be detected.
Until geologic formations, glacial or otherwise, have furnished demonstrably palæolithic forms in sufficient numbers to warrant the establishment of types of implements peculiar to these formations, surface finds can be of no service whatever to advocates of the palaeolithic idea.
The reported discovery of rude forms of implements in the gravels at Trenton, New Jersey, and subsequently at several points in the Mississippi Valley, led to the conclusion that palæolithic man dwelt here in gravel-forming time, and the theory that a welldifferentiated period of rude flaked stone art precedes, in the normal order of development, a pecked and polished stone period, found a foothold in this country. Observations have multiplied, and the occurrence of flaked stones in the gravels is now supported by a large body of evidence. If even a small percentage of these observations are authentic, the evidence ought to be considered sufficient to settle one of the questions at issue, that of the age of occupation; for the finding of a very small number of works of art, either implements, shop rejects, or flakes - in fact, anything artificial in the gravels by competent and reputable observers of geologic phenomena is all that is required to satisfy the scientific world of the presence of man of some grade of culture, primitive or otherwise, in gravel-forming times. To this conclusion there can be no serious objection. So far as I know, the possibility that there were glacial men, inter-glacial, and post-glacial men somewhere upon the continent is not seriously questioned by any one.
The infancy of the race may have been passed upon the eastern continent, but there is no sufficient reason why America may not have had a share in the nursing.
As I am not prepared to challenge the testimony brought forward by various collectors tending to establish the glacial age of human occupation, defective as much of that testimony seems to be, I will not raise the question of age, but proceed to consider the bearing of the evidence furnished by the quarry shops upon the question of the grade of culture indicated by the so-called gravel finds; the age, or period, of the occupation and the grade of culture attained being two very distinct things. Admitting for present convenience, then, that men dwelt in America in glacial times, I take up the question as to whether the culture of the hypothetic people, as indicated by the evidence furnished, is surely palæolithic. It has been repeatedly stated, and is still believed by many, that the gravel finds of the eastern United States closely resemble well-established European types of palæolithic implements. The critical observer will find, however, that this resemblance is superficial, and that they have a very much closer analogy with the rude quarry-shop rejects of America; and the latter are not really implements, and should not be called such any more than the faulty blocks of marble left in and about the quarries at Carrara should be classed as statuary. The distinctive feature of European palæolithic implements is, or ought to be, their evidence of specialization of form, their adaptation to definite use, indicated by what is known as secondary flaking; whereas these objects from the American gravels, with rare exceptions indeed, exhibit a total lack of this character. The semblance of specialization in thousands of the rude quarry rejects which have been worked hardly more than to test the flakability of the stone, not having begun to assume the contour and appearance of the implement contemplated by the workman, is more pronounced than in any of these gravel specimens. Appearance of specialization of form, may, therefore, signify nothing, and, if found, must not be taken alone as sufficient evidence that the object having it is a bona fide implement.
It should be further noted that not only are the gravel finds identical in form and material with the ordinary failures of the modern aborigines, but that they display the same mastery of shaping operations, beginning in the same way, progressing along the same lines, and ending at the same points, exhibiting no evidence of special adaptation to use in cutting, digging, picking, striking, or any other primitive manipulative act. It is also observed that none of these articles exhibit well-defined evidences of having been used, although it must be conceded that the rudest peoples made their tools for use; and it would appear that, as a rule, if they had been used they would bear very decided indications of that use, and would show a certain amount of specialization as a result of that use. Considering all of these points, I call attention to the extreme probability that these reputed gravel objects are not implements at all, but ordinary failures resulting from the manufacture of more highly specialized forms.
Again, it will be remembered that the gravel finds of the Pacific coast and some of those east of the mountains are neolithic, the forms being of a high grade technically and functionally, so that neolithic man is shown to have probably existed upon the continent whilst the eastern gravels were forming, and the condition of the art phenomena imply that he had dwelt here or somewhere east, west, north, or south, for a very long time, for thousands of years, if not for tens of thousands, and that, too, since he had passed the primal stages of art designated palæolithic.
How then is it to be proved that these particular rude forms, found so sparingly scattered through the gravels at Trenton and elsewhere, really represent and prove a palæolithic age, since they may simply be the rejects of manufacture left upon the banks of the glacial rivers by advanced neolithic men, who dwelt as intelligent men would upon the upper terraces out of reach of the icy floods? The argument that in these gravels rude forms only are found has no value whatsoever, since, as I have shown, it is the rule that where the raw material was sought beyond habitable sites no work save the roughing-out was undertaken, and no flaked forms save rude ones were left upon the ground. Because a few dozen specimens of rudely-flaked stones are found in the
gravels, and no highly specialized forms or other works of art are found with them, the conclusion is reached that they are palæolithic implements and that the art of the gravel-forming time was exclusively rude or palæolithic. Yet we may go down to the Potomac in the District of Columbia, or to the Washita in Arkansas, or to the Neosho in Indian Territory, and gather tons of similar rude forms made by our modern neolithic tribes, without finding a single specialized form or a single object of art aside from these rude forms. It is not my intention, however, to try to reconstruct the culture of that time, as I am not sure that there was any culture, but to point out the total inadequacy of the evidence upon which the theories of a particular culture are based.
The torrent-swept flood-plains of glacial times were hardly habitable places, and we do not know that there was game or fish to be sought there; but the great beds of bowlders then and there accumulating furnished more or less raw material suitable for flaking, and if men, supposing they existed, coming down to the banks of the streams during periods of low water, essayed to rough-out their spear-points and knives in the usual fashion, the ever-recurring torrents would scatter the refuse about, leaving the coarse pieces in one eddy and whirling the lighter ones to other eddies below.
From this and from what has gone before it is clearly seen that these reputed gravel objects are probably not implements at all, and, whether they are or not, that they are as likely to have been left by neolithic as by palæolithic men.
So far have the advocates of a European classification for American phenomena gone beyond the limits of prudence in the treatment of these so called palæolithic stones, that a radical change is demanded in the methods of classifying and labelling these objects in many of our museums; and it is to be lamented that a revision of all literature relating to the subject cannot be made in order to prevent the further spread of errors already too deeply rooted in the minds of the people, without offensive criticism of the work of living students.
This point may be illustrated by one example of the many that could be cited. The quartz objects from Minnesota, usually known as the Babbitt finds, of which so much has been said and written, prove on careful examination to be modern work-shop refuse settled into the talus of the glacial terrace. The slightly worked pieces heretofore collected and published as palæolithic implements almost without question on the part of archæologists as to their origin or manner of occurrence, have no more intimate relation to the history of the glacial terraces than have the trees that grow upon their surface or the rodents that burrow in their sandy soil.
No rude flaked stone should be classified or labelled as an implement until it is proved to be an implement, and no specimen should be called palæolithic simply because it is rude or because it is found in the gravels, howsoever old. The attempt to classify these rude stones and to arrange them under types after the manner of European implements is sufficiently characterized, when it is stated that there is not in the museums of Europe or America a single piece of flaked stone found in place in the gravels of America and satisfactorily verified that can with absolute safety be classified as an implement at all.
If I should find a rude stone in place in the gravels — I have tried long in vain-I should permit myself to say only this, "Here is a work of art dating back to glacial times, I cannot tell whether it is a finished implement or not, as there are but slight signs of specialization and no indications of use, and I cannot tell whether it was made and left by a paleolithic or by a neolithic people, because neither of these peoples had a patent upon rude forms." Even if rude flaked stones are found in gravels ten times as old as the Trenton gravels, it must still be shown that they are not neolithic before it can be safely asserted that they are palæolithic, for the exclusively rude period of flaked art observed in Europe is so extraordinary that its repetition in other countries would approach the marvellous.
Little by little the advocates of a period of palæolithic culture in America have been forced to give up the idea that there is any other reliable test of the age of a culture than that furnished by geology; yet they are still going on utterly failing to recognize
the equally important fact that geologic phenomena cannot be safely observed save by geologists, and I may add with respect to gravel phenomena that the observations of geologists are not always infallible, the observations of geologists who have not especially studied gravels being of little greater weight than those of laymen. They must further concede that the finding of rude implements in the gravels or other ancient formations is not proof of a paleolithic age until it is sufficiently proved that the culture represented is exclusively rude culture, a point not attained, and I fear well nigh unattainable.
It follows from the above considerations that all speculations upon the culture status, ethnic relationships and geographic distribution of gravel-man in America based upon the discovery of rude forms of art are premature and misleading, and that, instead of being on firm ground and well advanced in respect to the antiquity and history of early man in America, we are not yet safely on the threshold of the study; and it is patent that until geologists take hold of the problem and prosecute the work, not as a side issue but as a great and leading question germane to the field of geologic research, little true progress will be made.
My explorations have been made with the greatest care and rarely without the aid and advice of some of the foremost geologists and anthropologists of the country. The conclusions reached have been freely discussed, and are generally approved by those familiar with the facts. These conclusions are subject to modification through the acquisition of new evidence derived from actual research in the field and in no other way.
In closing I would add that conservative students of American archæology will find it wise to consider well the following points relating to early man in America. 1. Is there a sufficiently full and sound body of evidence to demonstrate the presence of glacial man in America? 2. Is there satisfactory evidence that glacial man, if his existence be admitted upon the evidence available, was in any particular region in the paleolithic stage of culture? 3. Is there satisfactory evidence that the rude glacial finds in any case are implements at all? 4. Are deductions as to the habits, customs, arts, industries, institutions, and racial affinities of a people called for until at least one implement left by them is discovered, verified, and found to bear indisputable evidence of adaptation to or employment in some kind of use?
MODERN SYNTHETIC GEOMETRY VERSUS EUCLID.
BY ROBERT J. ALEY, INDIANA UNIVERSITY, BLOOMINGTON, IND. FOR more than two thousand years Euclid has held almost undisputed sway in the field of synthetic geometry. So strong a hold has it on school men that few American colleges dare offer anything else to freshmen. Is this because of tradition, or is there something in Euclid that makes it intrinsically better than anything mathematics has produced in modern times? To say that it holds its place merely because of tradition would probably be too severe a criticism, and would certainly call forth vigorous protest from its friends and defenders. To say that the wonderful advance in geometrical science in the last two hundred years has given us nothing superior to Euclid would be a doubtful statement, and almost an insult to the labors of such men as Monge, Poncelet, Carnot, Steiner, Von Staudt, and Cremona. No other branch of mathematics clings so tenaciously to that which is old, as geometry. In analysis, physics, mechanics, astronomy, everywhere but in geometry, the results and methods of modern thought are freely used, and no one doubts the propriety of their use. Why not take advantage of the same advances in geometry?
I have no quarrel with Euclid. It has been and is still a great factor in education. The severe training it gives in logical, clear thinking would be hard to equal. No doubt every student leaves Euclid with his mental powers greatly strengthened, and with increased ability to grapple with other studies and with the practical problems of life. Considered as to its educational value, but few objections can be urged against it. Mathematically considered, there are many things in favor of the modern synthetic geometry. Euclid is far more nearly a treatise on logic than on
mathematics. That a student succeeds well in Euclid does not argue that he will be a mathematician or even a lover of mathematics. Every teacher of experience knows how often his hopes, built on success in Euclid, have been dashed to the ground when the pupil began analysis. Euclid gives no hint of the mathematics which is to follow, and hence does not seem to fit in as an integral part of the science. Many of the proofs are long and tedious, with no hint whatever as to the method by which they were originated. The traditional limitations surrounding Euclid narrow the field of work by excluding almost all other mathematics, and thus must necessarily reach results that are special. The student who wishes to go on in mathematics finds himself almost totally unprepared for the next step.
Modern synthetic geometry meets all these criticisms. It is thoroughly mathematical, and the student who succeeds in it is assured of success in any branch of the science that he may undertake. Its steps are all logical, but logic is not emphasized as the end to be attained. It is constantly whetting the student's desire for mathematical study by giving him hints of that which is to follow. It also prepares thoroughly for trigonometry and analytical geometry. It is surrounded by no traditions, and so is free to use everything that serves its purpose. Its proofs are simple and direct, its results broad and general. Its symbolism and nomenclature are in harmony with mathematical science, and are at least two thousand years in advance of Euclid. It has a great fascination for the student, and classes are invariably enthusiastic over it. This year, as an experiment, one division of the freshman class in Indiana University studies the modern synthetic geometry, while the other divisions take Euclid. The modern synthetic class is by far the most enthusiastic, and gives strong evidence of the more rapid mental development.
The student who reads modern mathematical works must know the modern synthetic geometry. Modern writers appreciate its power, and use it freely. It is to be hoped that our American schools will give more attention to it. From a mathematical standpoint it is certainly desirable that it may soon entirely replace Euclid. The admirable elementary text-books of Dupuis of Toronto, Smith of Missouri, and Halsted of Texas, which have recently appeared, prove that the subject is growing in interest, and also make its general introduction more easy.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES IN ENGLAND VERSUS THE DECIMAL AND METRIC SYSTEMS.
BY J. JAMES COUSINS, ALLERTON PARK, CHAPEL ALLERTON, NEAR LEEDS, ENGLAND.
It is impossible for a comparatively new country like America to conceive the mode by which the English conduct their internal commerce, and the difficulties which exist in trading not only with foreigners but between the different portions of the United Kingdom, owing to the versatility of the weights and measures used in conducting her business, the different values of the varied denominations within the United Kingdom, and the many quantities represented by the same denominations when applied to articles of daily commerce.
If the ingenuity of man had been strained to the utmost to introduce a system of weights and measures calculated to throw difficulties in the way of commercial progress, to perfect a system that no one man has thoroughly mastered, and to place irritating obstacles in the path of education of both pupil and teacher, that end has been thoroughly attained, and, strange to say, it is the system pursued in the educational establishments throughout the kingdom at the close of this nineteenth century, although most of the colonies have set the Mother Country a better example.
Can anything be more absurd than the following? We sell "pickled cod" by "the barrel," "trawled cod" so much "each," whilst " large hooked cod" are sold by "the score," and "crimped cod" per pound," shrimps by "the stone," soles by "the pair," Dutch smelts by "the basket," and English smelts by the hundred."
This is the Billingsgate system, but at Grimsby (another im
portant fish market) quite a different style of weights and measures is made use of, and the sale of fish is very much by "the box" and "the last."
A customer once asked a Grimsby fish salesman to let him have a stone of oysters, the reply was "We don't sell oysters by weight, we sell them by measure. "Then let me have a yard," said the buyer. Butter in Ireland is sold by 66 'the cask" and "the firkin" in England by "the pound" of 16 ounces, by "the roll" of 24 ounces, the stone," and the " hundred-weight," which is not 100 pounds but 112 pounds.
Analyzing the quantities of the various denominations only makes confusion doubly confounded.
What is a "load?" A load of straw is 1296 pounds, a load of old hay is 2016 pounds, and a load of new hay 2160 pounds; but my tables do not tell me at what age hay becomes old. What is a "firkin?" A firkin of butter is 56 pounds, a firkin of soap 64 pounds, and a firkin of raisins 112 pounds. A "hogshead" of beer is 54 gallons, but a hogshead" of wine is 63 gallons, a pipe of Marsala wine is 93 gallons, of Madeira 92 gallons, of Bucellas 117 gallons, a pipe of port 103 gallons, and a pipe of Teneriffe 100 gallons. Again, what is a stone? A "stone" weight of a living man is 14 pounds, but a stone" weight of a dead ox is 8 pounds, a stone of cheese is 16 pounds, of glass 5 pounds, of hemp 32 pounds, a stone of flax at Belfast is 164 pounds, but at Downpatrick 24 pounds, while a hundred-weight of pork is 8 pounds heavier at Belfast than it is at Cork-another injustice to Ireland.
England is slow to adopt new principles, but as more than 400 millions of people are using the metric system, surely it is time she took a step in that direction, a hint that probably may not be thrown away upon the grand American Republic.
In cataloguing the above absurdities of English measurement, I must not omit to inform you what quantities a barrel represents. A " barrel" of beef is 200 pounds; butter, 224 pounds; flour, 196 pounds; gunpowder, 100 pounds; soft soap, 256 pounds; beer, 36 gallons; tar, 26 gallons; whilst a barrel of herrings is 500 herrings.
One example of the comparative merits of the existing system with the decimal system will suffice.
Reduce 987,654,321 inches into leagues. To arrive at this we must divide these figures by 12 to get them into feet, then divide the product by 3 to make yards of them, next by 5 to find the number of poles, another division of the product by 40 exhibits the furlongs, then if the brain will stand it, for we have decimals in the quotient, we must divide by 8, which gives us the miles, and lastly by 3 to furnish the leagues, quid erat demonstrandum; and, if we have made no mistake, we have arrived at a satisfactory result.
To attain the same end by the decimal system, allowing the same number of denominations but each a decimal, no calculation is necessary, no sums to work out, but as there are six denomi nations, place the pointer on the left-hand side of the 6, the figures on the left of the pointer, viz., 987, show the number of leagues, whilst the figures on the right of the pointer furnish the fractions of a league, viz., 6 miles, 5 furlongs, 4 poles, 3 yards, 2 feet, and 1 inch.
Yet, can it be believed? the old system is taught in every school in England, and the cruelty inflicted upon the brains and the temper of the young, to say nothing of the loss of time and the cost, cannot fail to lodge a grave responsibility upon the legislature which permits such a condition of things to exist.
A CHEAP FORM OF BOX FOR MICROSCOPE SLIDES.
BY GEORGE P. MERRILL.
PRESUMABLY no one ever started out with making a collection of slides for the microscope but has wrestled long with the problem as to how they may best be taken care of. In the administrative work of this department the problem early became a serious one. For its satisfactory solution I am indebted to my brother, L. H. Merrill, then assisting me.
As it happened, we had in stock a number of paste-board boxes some 93 millimeters wide, 143 millimeters long, and 48 millimeters deep, all inside measurements. The dimensions of our standard slide are 48 x 28 millimeters. By means of two wooden partitions, some 3 millimeters thick, running lengthwise, each box was divided into three equal compartments, the partitions being held in place by glue reinforced by two small tacks at each end. Heavy Manilla wrapping paper, such as we also had in stock, was then cut into strips 25 millimeters wide and as long as the sheet of paper would allow, in this case about 7 feet. These strips were then bent into a series of folds, as shown in the accompanying illustration, the apices being rounded, not pinched flat. If carefully done, the folds when crowded gently together act as a spring. Two of these folded strips were then placed lengthwise in each compartment, and the slides introduced, standing on end, between the folds at the top. A box as thus prepared readily holds three rows of 50 slides in a row, or 150 altogether.
Each slide is separated from its neighbor in the same row by a double thickness of Manilla paper, which, owing to its manner of folding, acts as a spring, and avoids all possible danger of breakage. When all the compartments are filled, the space between the tops of the slides in any row is but about 2 millimeters; but there is, nevertheless, no difficulty in removing a slide or in getting at it to read the label without removal, since, owing to the yielding nature of the paper, the tops may be readily drawn apart. In this respect the box offers a great advantage over
those with rigid wooden compartments, such as are commonly in use. The first box was made merely as an experiment. It proved so satisfactory that, for the time being at least, it is the form adopted for storing the several thousand slides forming the museum collections.
I have attempted to show the arrangement as above described in the accompanying drawing. In reality the slides are held much more firmly than indicated, since the paper bulges and comes against both the front and back of the slides, the full length of the fold, instead of merely at the bottom. It will very likely strike the reader that a better material than paper might be found. I can only state that after considerable experimenting the paper was, all things considered, found most satisfactory. Department of Geology, U. S. National Museum, Washington, D.C.
SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION IN MINES.1
BY PROFESSOR ARNOLD LUPTON, YORKSHIRE COLLEGE, LEEDS,
THE lecturer remarked that most of the difficulties of a mine could be overcome in certain well-known ways: water could be raised by pumping-engines; gas carried away by ventilation, and the danger obviated by safety lamps; but spontaneous combustion, in some cases, could not be prevented, and, when once begun, could not always be stopped, except by filling the pit with
1 Summary of a lecture on the 10th of October last, at the Philosophical Hall, Leeds.
Spontaneous ignition of coal was well known to ship-owners and insurance companies, large cargoes of coal being especially liable to take fire upon long journeys. In the same way, a great heap of coal on the surface was liable to take fire, especially if it was small coal or slack. For that reason it was necessary in storing slack not to have the heaps too wide or deep. A heap ten feet deep might not fire, while a heap twenty feet deep of the same coal would be very liable to fire. A small heap of slack laid against the outside of a boiler-flue or steam-pipe would probably take fire in a short time. Heaps of slack and broken coal left in the mine were very liable to take fire, and much smaller quantities would fire in the mine than on the surface, because it was warmer underground, and the superincumbent strata upon the slack and broken coal prevent the heat from escaping. Spontaneous ignition was very frequent in the thick coal-miles of South Staffordshire, Warwickshire, and Leicestershire, and it was necessary that these pits should be watched every hour of the day and night lest a fire, having broken out, should obtain the mastery before it was discovered. If a fire was detected whilst yet smouldering, the heated material is dug out if possible and the place filled with sand. Sometimes the fire was extinguished by pumping water onto it. In some mines water was laid on at a high pressure for the purpose of throwing jets of water onto any fire that may occur. It was usual, however, in mines liable to spontaneous combustion, to separate the district containing the waste heaps of slack or broken coal from the rest of the mine by means of walls or dams of brick and clay and sand, so that the smouldering fire, producing carbonic acid gas, extinguishes itself by its own smoke. Sometimes an apparently solid mass of coal took fire. In this case the apparently solid coal has been cracked and crushed, and air has been able to enter into the cracks to support combustion. In mines liable to this species of accident, the manager has a very anxious time, and his deputies must unceasingly patrol the pit. Sometimes it was impossible to isolate a fire, owing to air drawing through cracks in the pillars of coal surrounding the fire, and the men were beaten back by the flames, and had to abandon the mine. The shafts were then partially filled and covered so as to exclude the air, and in the course of three or four months it generally happened that the fire was extinguished.
The cause of these fires was perhaps not entirely explained. It used to be supposed that the decomposition of the sulphuret of iron, called iron pyrites, produced heat sufficient. This idea was, however, now abandoned by the leading chemists who had studied the question. Sir Frederick Abel and Dr. Percy, in a report to the Royal Commission in 1875 on the "Spontaneous Combustion of Coal in Ships," suggested the decomposition of the coal as the probable cause. Professor Vivian B. Lewes, in 1892, contributed a paper to the Society of Arts, in which he stated, as the result of the work of Richters and himself, that newly-cut coal would absorb oxygen to the extent, in some cases, of three times its own volume. This oxygen produced a kind of slow combustion, and, where the heat could not escape, the temperature of the mine was raised to that of 800° to 900° F., and at this temperature, if there was any air near to the coal, it would take fire.
There were only two ways, apparently, of preventing this spontaneous combustion. One was to cool the heap by ventilation. But the ventilation to be efficient must be equal to that of a coalheap on the surface, and it was known that a heap of small coal twenty feet thick and thirty or forty feet wide was very liable to take fire; therefore, if the heap of coal in a mine was to be cooled by ventilation, the ventilating roads would have to be not much more than fifteen feet apart, and a cool current of air through each. This, as a general rule, was impracticable; and therefore, as a general rule, the prevention of spontaneous ignition by ventilation was impracticable. The other method was to exclude the air from the mass of coal that was liable to fire by means of walls of soft clay or by walls of brick and mortar and sand, or solid pillars of coal. The portion of the mine so walled off might get very hot, raising the temperature of the mine ten or twenty degrees above the normal temperature of the earth; but it could not take fire if the air was excluded.
To any contributor, on request in advance, one hundred copies of the issue containing his article will be sent without charge. More copies will be supplied at about cost, also if ordered in advance. Reprints are not supplied, as for obvious reasons we desire to circulate as many copies of Science as possible. Authors are, however, at perfect liberty to have their articles reprinted elsewhere. For illustrations, drawings in black and white suitable for photoengraving should be supplied by the contributor. Rejected manuscripts will be returned to the authors only when the requisite amount of postage accompanies the manuscript. Whatever is intended for insertion must be authenticated by the name and address of the writer; not necessarily for publication, but as a guaranty of good faith. We do not hold ourselves responsible for any view or opinions expressed in the communications of our correspondents. Attention is called to the "Wants" column. It is invaluable to those who use it in soliciting information or seeking new positions. The name and address of applicants should be given in full, so that answers will go direct to them. The "Exchange" column is likewise open.
[Numerous complaints reach us of delay in receiving "Science" through the mails. It appears that it frequently takes a week for the paper to reach Illinois, for instance. This is owing to the small allowance of funds to the New York Post-Office, which prevents the employment of a sufficient force and compels the present force to work in decidedly over-crowded quarters.]
for 3, as y was in England; just we write viz for videlicet, where the z is not the sibilant, but merely an old ligature for et, videlicet being formerly written videlic3, in the same way as libet was written lib3. So also the final y, so common in English words, is really the descendant of the final ig, equally common in AngloSaxon; many, busy, any, greedy, silly, honey, holy, and day being the Anglo-Saxon words manig, bysig, ænig, grædig, sælig, honig, halig, and dæg. This final y is so common a termination in English that, owing to analogy, it has replaced the old termination ie in other words, as in academy, anatomy, homily, and irony, where it represents the Greek ia, or in jolly and tardy, where it represents the French if. In by and my it has been introduced from analogy with words such as dry, fly. sky, where the y is really the weakened g. It will be objected that in certain words, such as "young" and "yard," an Anglo-Saxon g has become y before back vowels, but this fact is really only a confirmation of the rule, as in such cases the front vowel which modified the g has been lost, "young" being from the Anglo-Saxon geong, and "yard" from geard.
In the neo-Latin languages the same weakening of g before front vowels took place, but duplicate forms of the letter not being available to denote the two sounds, g represents both sounds, as in the case of the Italial words gente and gallo, or the French géant and gout, or else the g was replaced by j. as in jouir, from the Latin gaudere.
THE PEDIGREE OF THE LETTER Y.
BY CANON ISAAC TAYLOR, LITT.D., YORK, ENGLAND.
IT is commonly asserted that our letter y is the lineal descendant of the Roman Y, which in the time of Cicero was borrowed from the Greek alphabet to represent upsilon in the transliteration of Greek names. This, however, is a mistake, as will be seen by tracing the history of the letter. It is only when y is used, as the Romans used it, as a vowel to transliterate upsilon in loan-words (either direct from the Greek or indirectly through Latin or French), such as hyperbola, hydrostatics, hypocrite, tyrant, or myrtle, that our y represents the Roman Y and the Greek upsilon. In the great majority of cases the English y is a semi-consonant corresponding in value to the Continental j, as in young, yea, year, Yenisei, Yakut, which in German are spelt jung, ja, jahr, Jenisei, Jakut. Along with the other Roman letters, the letter Y was adopted by the Anglo-Saxons from the Latin alphabet, with a value approximating to that of i, and hence the y in Anglo Saxon words has usually become i in modern English, or has lapsed into the neutral vowel, as in the words, fyr, fyst, hyd, hyf, brycg, ynce, hyll, flyht, yfel, and wyrm, which are now written fire, fist, hide, hive, bridge, inch, hill, flight, evil, and worm. there is not a single lineal descendant of the Anglo-Saxon y now in existence. The letter y in modern English words is, curiously enough, not a y at all, but a lineal descendant of the AngloSaxon g, which was the Roman G, evolved by the Romans out of an earlier C. This Anglo-Saxon g split into two sounds, retaining the old hard sound before or after the back vowels a, o, and u, as in go, dog, gold, gum, while before or after the front vowels e and i it weakened into a palatal semi-vowel; the words ge, gese, gea, git, and gear, becoming ye, yes, yea, yet, and year. A symbol which has acquired two values is frequently differentiated into two forms, thus i and j, u and v have come to denote respectively the vocalic and semi-consonantal sounds of the same primitive symbol. This happened with the values of g. The Anglo-Saxon form 3 came to be appropriated for the weakened sound, and the Caroline or Continental form g was used for the original stopped sound. In Middle English MSS., we have the two forms side by side, written 3 and g. At the time of the invention of printing, this weakened g, written 3, had become almost identical in form with y, and accordingly printers used y to express it, while in Scotland a z in black letter (3) was used for the weakened g, and in old Scotch books we fine yet printed as zit, and year as zeir, not that these words were pronounced with a z, but z was used
BY C. F. AMERY.
IT is now universally recognized that animals possess intelligence. The evidences on this head are too patent for dispute; but, like the guinea of the Primrose girls, it is supposed to be employed only in extraordinary emergencies. All the text-books on comparative psychology assume that all the ordinary pursuits of animals are instinctive, by which is implied automatic and mechanical; but whether instincts are to be regarded as impulses or as guides to action, or whether the activities are themselves instincts, is nowhere clearly defined in the text-books I have consulted. I purpose, in the present paper, to define the nature of instinct, and to indicate its place and the importance of its funetions in the general economy of animal life.
The only satisfactory course of procedure is, first to collect and array the facts, and as man himself presents abundant illustration of all the psychological activities exercised in the animal kingdom, we cannot do better than examine the facts and study the nature and functions of instinct as exemplified in our own persons.
What then is instinct?
All the functions of the human organism and all the activities of life are classifiable under three heads - the mechanical, the reflex, and the intelligent.
The mechanical are the fundamental continuous processes of digestion, assimilation, circulation, secretion, and respiration. All these processes are performed unconsciously and involuntarily excepting respiration, which is performed sub-consciously and is to a small extent under the control of the will.
The reflex activities are automatic responses of the neuro-muscular organism to the stimulus sensations. They begin and end in the organism. In man, as in other animals, they are due to secretions in the system, to contact with external objects, or to special periodical or occasional conditions of the organism. They are all performed consciously by man, and are all susceptible of being brought more or less under the control of the will. The most common reflex activities are laughing, crying, sucking, masticating, swallowing, voiding the fœces and urine, coughing, sneezing, withdrawal from contact with objects, purposeless bodily exercise, etc. Laughing and crying may result from sensation, but they are sometimes reflex activities of the brain, originating in ideas.
Intelligent activities result from the perception of objects, their properties, and relations. Every effort for adjustment of the organism to external conditions apprehended through the senses is