Page images


oratory investigations, and may justly claim a voice in this special department. It is to be regretted, that Dr. Babes concedes the primary discovery of the specific bacilli of different morbid processes to Babes alone. • L'un de nous' creeps into the various chapters with a frequency not in harmony with accepted facts. So far as is known to microscopists, Dr. Babes has made no original discoveries; and the work is valuable for reference only (and in this particular its worth may not be overestimated), and as a fresh proof of Professor Cornil's facility as a writer. Lustgarten has priority in the discovery of the contagium vivum of syphilis, as well as in the peculiar process of staining. I saw Babes make several ineffectual attempts to carry out Lustgarten's directions, even while his book was going through the press; so that his statements in this connection, as well as those that occur in the discussion of actinomycosis, are purely imaginative. Actinomycoses have been successfully colored by only one man in Berlin, but his name was not Babes. The drawings in some cases are pretty good. The tube-drawings are, however, wretched, and convey an entirely erroneous impression of the growth of bacilli. Cornil's work in the book is without spot or blemish, and it is unfortunate that his duties as minister of public instruction did not allow him to give more attention to the details. Drs. G. Sims Woodhead, and Arthur W. Hare, have brought out a book jointly (* Pathological mycology'). Dr. Woodhead came to Berlin for a few weeks, worked in the laboratories, and then returned to Scotland, and wrote a book. The nature and scientific value of this publication may be estimated from the length of time which was given to the study of micro-biology. The description of methods is entirely out of date. The illustrations are singularly inaccurate, notably No. v., and all of the potato-drawings. No. 22 is not used by Koch at all, and in No. 34 the tubes are not held properly. No. 37, with description, is absolutely wrong. It is evidently a contaminated, and not a pure, culture. There is no detailed account of drop culture or of plate culture, which is the very basis of Koch's method of pure culture. The bacillus of blue milk forms a brown tint, and not a 'green' tint, as the authors claim.

Neither of these works finds great favor among scientific men in Germany, and neither conveys any adequate impression of the exact processes of inquiry necessary to a comprehensive, intelligent survey of micro-biology. Even Koch bimself stands but yet upon the threshold, working his way into the clear light of truth through much tribulation and scepticism; and even he would never dare to pronounce with such autocracy upon certain processes, as do those whose enthusiasm leads them to snap judgments after a few weeks of special study.

An interesting matter lately lappened in Professor Johnne's laboratory at Dresden. A friend of mine, working up the micro-organisms of different earths, took a specimen from underneath the laboratory window. From this he cultivated some specimens of the bacilli of anthrax. Inquiry showed that formerly this place had been used as a burial spot for sheep dying of anthrax, but that for ten years it has not been used for such a purpose. HORATIO R. BIGELOW, M.D. Bastei, Sächs. Schweiz, July 13.

[Our correspondent makes some strong statements which need modification. The animus of Friedländer's criticism of Cornil and Babes' book ( Fortschritte der medecin, July 1, 1885) may be easily understood, and loses value by so much. So far as our perusal of 'Les bacteries has inforined us, the 'L'un de nous,' spoken of in our letter, refers purely to con

firmatory work done by one or the other of the authors, and is not a claim to originality. To our thinking, Lustgarten, being the only one mentioned at all in connection with syphilis in the classification of the schizomycetes, receives all the credit ihe most grasping could desire: and the fact that Babes failed once or twice to stain the bacilli, proves nothing in regard to his success at other times (as any practical worker knows); nor, so far as we can see, has it any bearing upon his assertions in regard to actinomycosis. In regard to the staining of the fungus of the laiter, we would suggest that some others than the one successful worker in Berlin should try washing the sections for a short time in dilute hydrochloric acid, and ther. stain according to Gram's method. We fancy there will be no difficulty in finding the fungus stained blue, as was demonstrated in Washington last April. Our review (Science, July 24) gives our own opinion of the work. Of Sims and Woodhead's Pathological mycology,' we have received only the first part as yet; and we have therefore not spoken of it in detail. Bad as our correspondent seems to think it, it promises to be at least the best work upon the subject that has yet appeared in English. – ED.]

Color associations.' Another curious phase of color association, besides the interesting one mentioned by Dr. C. S. Minot, is that in connection with names.

I have heard three children of different temperaments in the same family avow an association of colors with names. Strangely enough, they agreed on nearly every example; as, for instance, that Kate was red; Mary, white; Alice, violet; Dick, deep Vandyke brown; William, a watery blue, etc. This seems even more arbitrary and unaccountable than color associations with months; as that might, to some extent, be influenced by the prevailing tints of natural objects at those particular seasons. Thus the tone of sunlight during January, February, and March, determining the color associated, shining white yellow; that of the April sky, when there is otherwise an absence of striking color; the leading hue of Mayflowers; the zenith of verdure in June, - all may assist in forming the color associations. I may add, I know the use of color-symbols for names to exist also in adult minds in a less definite degree (the agreement between different persons also not so unanimous), but quite sufficiently to cause a confusion in recalling names of the same color;' as, for example, Martha and Mary Ann, both being classified as “brownish drab.' I think if this connection of ideas were traced to the root, it would result in the conclusion that the assortment is conducted on a very elementary basis; as in the case of the two last-mentioned names, usually belonging to persons engaged in ordinary work-aday pursuits, they are represented, or rather produce an identical effect of commonplace neutrality upon the mind, with the tint commonly adapted to serviceable uses. It is probable that thought is much more frequently carried on by hieroglyphics of form and color than by words. In fact, these afford too slow a presentation of ideas, while some faintly defined symbol conveys the effect of whole sentences at an instant. As Ribot explains a certain illusion of memory :

there is a ground of resemblance quickly perceived between the two impressions, which leads us to identify them.' We confuse similar modifications of the nerve elements as the pictures on two slides passing simultaneously througų the magic lantern are combined.

K. A. CHIPMAN. 6 Place d'Armes Square, Montreal, Aug. 3.





thought. A few of these we briefly men

tion. It will be admitted, we think, that the ten- 1. We have said that consciousness and dency of modern science is materialistic. This thought lie behind material phenomena, in is especially true of biology. In fact, to many nature and in the human brain. In the one the doctrine of correlation of vital with physi- case we call it God, the divine Spirit; in the cal forces, and the doctrine of derivative origin other, the spirit of man. Now, does not this of species, seem little short of a demonstration identity, or similarity of relation to material of materialism. Thus materialism has become phenomena, imply, or at least suggest, similara fashion of thought; but, like all fashions, it ity of nature, and therefore immortality for has run into excess, which must be followed by the spirit of man? reaction. We believe the reaction has already 2. Individual human life passes through its commenced. Science sees now, more clearly little cycle of changes, and quickly closes in than ever before, its own limits. It acknowl- death. If this be all, then for the individedges its impotence to bridge the chasm be- ual, when all is done, it is precisely as if he tween the physical and the psychical. We had never been. “Yes,” answers the Comtist, pass from physical to chemical, and from 6 for the individual, but not for humanity. chemical to vital, without break. All is motion, Every human life leaves a residuum which and nothing more ; also, in the region of the enters into the life and growth of humanity. vital, we pass from sense-impression through It is a glorious and unselfish religion thus to nerve-thrill to brain-changes, and still we find merge one's self into the only true object of only motions. But when, just here, there worship, — humanity.” But, alas! the cycle emerge consciousness, thought, will, the re- of humanity also closes; and for humanity lation of these to brain-changes is just as un

too, when all is done, it will be precisely as imaginable as the appearance of the genie if it had never been. · But the earth — the when Aladdin's lamp is rubbed.

- abides.' Yes, but only a little It is impossible to emphasize this point too longer. Science declares that the cycle of the strongly. Suppose a living brain be exposed cosmos must also close. And then, when all to an observer with infinitely perfect senses. is done, after all this process of evolution Such an observer would see, could see, only reaching upward to find its completion in man, molecular movements. But the subject knows after all the yearnings, hopes, struggles, and nothing of all this. His experiences are of a triumphs of man, what is the outcome? It totally different order ; viz., consciousness, is precisely as if the cosmos had never been. thought, etc. Viewed from the outside, there is It is all literally “ a tale told by an idiot, full nothing but motions; viewed from the inside, of sound and fury, signifying nothing." Not nothing but thought, etc., — from the one side, only heart, but reason, revolts against such a only material phenomena; from the other, only

final outcome. If we believe that reason psychical phenomena. May we not generalize underlies the phenomena of the cosmos, we this fact? May we not extend it to nature also ? cannot accept such a result. We cannot From the outside we find nothing but motion. believe that the cosmos has no intelligible end. On the inside there must be consciousness, But what intelligible end is there conceivable, thought, etc. : in a word, God. To bridge unless something is finally attained which is this chasm, whether in nature or in the brain, not involved in a cycle, i.e., unless man is imScience is impotent. As to what is on the mortal? other side of material phenomena, she is 3. There are three primary divisions of our agnostic, but cannot be materialistic.

psychical nature; viz., sense, intellect, and Admitting, then, in man a world of phe

phe- will. There are three corresponding processes nomena, which cannot be construed in terms of in making a complete rational philosophy: viz., motion, and which for convenience we group (1) instreaming of impressions of the external under the name of spirit,' is the group per- world through the senses (facts) ; (2) elabmanent? Is the spirit immortal? On this oration of these into a consistent whole by the subject, Science can say absolutely nothing. intellect (knowledge); (3) outgoing of this The field is therefore open for evidence from knowledge in activity (conduct). Now, a true any quarter, and of any degree. Some of working theory of life must satisfy all these. these evidences, though not given by Science, But scientific men are apt to think that only (1) are at least suggested by lines of scientific and (2) are necessary ; that true facts elabo

rated into consistent theory is all we need care 1 This thought is admirably presented by Johnstono Stoney, Nature, vol. xxxi. p. 422.

for. Theologians, on the contrary, seem to


think only (2) and (3) necessary: they elab- growth of the national collection of objects orate a theory of life consistent with itself, and from the three kingdoms of nature, memorialapparently satisfactory in its application to ized the trustees of the British museum upon conduct, but are less careful to test its har- the necessity of better accommodations. In mony with facts derived from the senses. But 1862 the matter received careful attention all three are necessary. The first furnishes from Professor (now Sir) Richard Owen, who material; the second constructs the building; published an elaborate essay upon the proper the third tests its suitableness for human habi- scope of a national natural-history museum, tation. All admit that successful application in which he presented plans for the division to art is the best test of true theory. But con- of material, and the erection of a museum duct is the art corresponding to our theory of building. These and other plans were thorlife, and therefore the test of its truth. Now, oughly discussed by the naturalists of England, is not immortality as an element of our theory and the critics became eventually divided into of life in the highest degree conducive of right two opposing factions, — the one maintaining conduct? Is it not a useful, yea a necessary, that it was best to hold the natural-history colelement in a working hypothesis?

lections in Great Russell Street by an enlarge4. But it may be objected, animals, too, ment of the original edifice; and the other, have brains : in them, too, we find evidences that it was more desirable to erect a new of something like consciousness and thought. building somewhere in the western part of the Are they, too, immortal? If so, where shall metropolis, where more air and a better light we stop? We pass down by sliding scale, could be obtained. The latter view finally without break, to the lowest verge of life. prevailed in the government councils ; but, by Shall we stop here? No: for vital is trans- reason of a combination of unfortunate circummutable into physical forces. Thus all is im- stances, nothing was done toward the erection mortal, or none. Thus hope of immortality of a new building for nearly twenty years. vanishes, as it were, by evaporation.

The collections were not moved from Great This objection, though serious, is, we think, Russell Street until the autumn of 1880. not fatal. To make our view clear, we use an The new building stands upon a part of the illustration taken from biology. May we not ground allotted to the great industrial exhibition imagine that in animals spirit is in embryo in of 1851. Near it are the South Kensington the womb of Nature, unconscious of self, and and Indian museums, and the structures occuincapable of independent life; and that in man pied by transient displays, such as the recent it came to birth, a separate spirit, - indi- fisheries and hygienic exhibitions. The main vidual, conscious of self, and capable of in- portion of the building faces Cromwell Road, dependent life, on a new and higher plane? and presents a frontage of about six hundred According to this view, geological time is the and fifty feet. The two central towers are period of gestation, evolution is the process flanked on either side by a long wing and a of development, and the appearance of man terminal pavilion. The wings are three stories the act of birth. 2 JOSEPH LE CONTE. high, with a basement. The style of architec

ture is Norman-Gothic, richly ornamented with animal forms and conventional figures drawn

from animate objects. At the back of the THE BRITISH MUSEUM OF NATURAL

principal part of the structure are a number of HISTORY.

single-storied annexes, running out at right The visitor to the west end of London is angles to the main wall. Light for the rooms confronted, upon turning into Cromwell Road,

at the front and sides is obtained through large by a large and majestic building, whose archi- windows reaching down to the floor, but the tectural grace and warm color make a very

annexes are lighted from the top. pleasing impression upon the eye. This recent The entire building is constructed of a buffaddition to the splendors of the West End is

colored terra-cotta, which, as already intimated, the home of the natural-history departments

is elaborately modelled, especially about the of the British museum. By its completion

windows and doorways. The walls of the the plans of certain prominent English natu

interior are likewise ornamented with convenralists are happily consummated. As early as

tional figures in relief. The ceiling of the 1854 Dr. Edward Gray, alarmed by the rapid

central hall, presently to be mentioned, is in

laid with wooden panels upon which are painted

I'nitarian representations of different species of plants in review for November, 1891. 2 Princeton reciere for November, 1978.

life-colors. The floor is a rich marble mosaic.

1 Reflex action and theism.


The main entrance leads into the great cen- a very considerable degree of comfort. This tral hall, a hundred and fifty feet long, ninety- system must commend itself to the officers of seven feet wide, and about sixty feet high, all large public museums, and to the students lighted by windows near the roof, and having who resort to them. a gallery on the sides at the level of the second It is manifestly impossible, within the limits story, reached by a grand staircase at the of this article, to describe the cases used in the back. The ground-floor of this hall is occupied museum, or the modes of arranging specimens. by the index collection, which is lodged in Suffice it to say that the former are elaborate twelve arched alcoves on the east and west and costly, and appear to have been designed sides. It also gives room to a great sperm

with much care, and that the latter are in most whale skeleton, which is the first specimen one cases not only highly instructive, but artistic. sees upon entering the building.

The chief excellence of the new structure Back of the central hall is another some- lies in the series of annexes or galleries lighted what smaller, - ninety-seven feet by seventy

from the top, and devoted to single groups of feet, which will be devoted to the collection forms. This arrangement is in some sort an illustrative of the British fauna.

extension of the system of alcoves employed On the west side of the central hall is the in numerous museums, but is greatly superior entrance to the bird gallery, which occupies to the latter, on account of the size of the the entire first story of the west wing and ter- rooms and their complete isolation. minal pavilion. The wing is two hundred and It is perhaps ungracious, where so much is thirty-three feet long and fifty feet wide; the admirable, to call attention to features which pavilion, sixty feet by forty feet. The east have the semblance of defects. Nevertheless, wing and pavilion, which are of like proportions, the building has been severely criticised by are occupied by the fossil mammalia. Between English naturalists, both on account of its the back wall of the wings and the annexes architectural elaborateness and the faulty arpreviously mentioned is a long narrow corridor rangement of its parts. The arrangement of lighted from above. The western corridor is the staircases is such as to occasion much unoccupied by coelenterates and sponges, and necessary walking; and there is no way by the eastern by fossil reptiles. Each of the which to move large specimens from the lower annexes is occupied by a single group. The to the upper stories. The light in the alcoves most westerly room contains mollusks, after of the central hall, devoted to the index colwhich follow echinoderms, reptiles, crusta- lection, is insufficient, while along the entire ceans, and fishes. The annexes at the east southern façade it is admitted in such excess of the central hall contain fossil fishes and as to surely prove ruinous to the mounted specivarious groups of fossil invertebrates.


mens in the cases between the windows. will be perceived that the eastern half of the There is no regular provision for a library. first story is devoted to fossil animals, while It should be remembered, however, that no the western half is occupied by a portion of perfect structure was ever erected, and that the the collection of recent animals. The second defects of this building are lost sight of in its story of the west wing is given up to mammals, general excellence. Its superiority over the and that of the east wing to minerals. In the old quarters at Great Russell Street is so great third story (which is reached by a bridge) the as to make comparison impossible. west hall contains the collection of mammalian The museum in Cromwell Road has someosteology, and the east hall the plants.

what more than a third more available floorThe basements are principally devoted to space than our national museum at Washington ; work-rooms and storage rooms for duplicates but the capacity of the latter can be greatly

and supplies ; but at the extreme western end increased by the addition of galleries. We à cetacean gallery has been established, in are here comparing, however, a part of the which the entire collection of whale skeletons British national museum with the whole of our has been brought together.

own; for while the building at South KenThere is one commodious apartment on the sington is intended to contain only animals, ground-floor which deserves special mention. plants, and minerals, the museum at WashIt is designated as the students' room. Per- ington holds all the collections of the governsons who have obtained permission to study in ment illustrative of the three kingdoms of the museum can have brought into this room nature, and in addition those representing the such specimens as they wish to examine. bistory of the progress of culture and the arts. Tables and other conveniences are provided, After much agitation, the control of the so that investigations can be carried on with natural-history collections has passed from the



« PreviousContinue »