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FRIDAY, JULY 9, 1886.


NOT INFREQUENTLY STATEMENTS APPEAR of the death of some individual who has passed his hundredth year. The evidence in these instances of great longevity is, as a rule, exceedingly unreliable, and oftentimes there is not so much as an entry in a family Bible upon which to rest the claim. Professor Humphrey of England has determined to investigate, so far as he can, these reported cases, and is now collecting the information from every available source. While there can be no doubt that there have been many true claimants to the title of centenarians, yet it will probably be found, as a result of Professor Humphrey's labors, that a not inconsiderable number have falsely or ignorantly laid claim to an honor which they did not deserve.

THE EXAMINATION OF THE BRAIN of the late King of Bavaria by six of the medical profession of Germany has resulted in confirming the opinion of his physicians given during his lifetime, that he was insane. Marked changes of the brain substance and its membranes, and also of the bones of the skull, were found; some of them showing evidences of having existed for a considerable time, and others of more recent formation. These signs of degeneration, coupled with the idiosyncrasies which marked the later years of his reign, leave but little room for doubt as to the insanity of King Louis.

FROM TIME TO TIME epidemics of scarlet-fever more or less extensive have been traced to the dairy. The usual history has been that of some attendant, while convalescing from the disease, and before the skin had thoroughly desquamated, being found in the act of milking. Portions of skin containing the infectious material have thus found their way into the milk, and the disease has appeared among the consumers. Another method by which this disease may be propagated has just been brought to light by Professor Cameron of London. He finds that the cows themNo. 179.-1886.

selves may have scarlet-fever; and in an epidemic recently investigated by him, this was, in his opinion, the source of infection in a family attacked with the disease. Dr. Cameron regards it as occurring usually in the first instance in newlycalved cows, and communicated to healthy cows by the hands of those who do the milking. The symptoms in the cow are very similar to those observed in the human species, including fever, sore throat, discharges from the nostrils, and an eruption upon the skin.

THE SEARCH FOR THE GERM of hydrophobia, or rabies as it should more properly be termed, has up to very recent date been unsuccessful. The London Lancet announces that Dr. Dowdeswell claims to have found it in the central canal of the spinal cord and in the medulla oblongata. He has also found it in other parts of the brain and cord, but not in such abundance. He describes it as a micrococcus, and accounts for the failure of others to find it, by the fact that the hitherto known methods of staining will not affect it. He will shortly describe his own method, and an opportunity will then be given to experts to examine the evidence on which he bases his claim until then the matter remains sub judice.

THE FIELD-WORK of the coast and geodetic survey is almost at a standstill, owing to the lack of money to conduct it. Only those parties are at work which had been sent out prior to the close of the fiscal year. The parties on the transcontinental arc will be put in the field as soon as the appropriation passes. All the parties from the south are now in, except those of Assistant Hodgkins, who has been detained at Cape Lookout by bad weather, which has prevented his making a survey to show the changes in that locality,, which, from casual observations and a partial report by Mr. Fairman Rodgers, are very great. This form of delay in work is common to all' the government departments, first to one and then the other, when the proper committees fail to do their work promptly. Some delay may be justifiable under the conditions; but it is none the less injurious.


IT may not be known to all the readers of Science that Mrs. Colonel Stevenson brought with her from New Mexico last autumn, Wa-Wah, a Zuñi woman, the most expert weaver and potter in her pueblo, and one of the five priestesses of the order of Ko-Ko.

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For six months this woman has taught her patroness the language, myths, and arts of the Zuñis, now explaining some intricate ceremony, at another time weaving belt or blanket under the eye of the camera, or with wonderful dignity and self-possession moving among the most enlightened society of the metropolis.

As the season of the summer solstice, or, more correctly, the summer moon, approached, WaWah expressed the greatest anxiety to join with her distant people in the semi-annual plumeplanting, the other festival occurring at the time of the winter moon. Letters were written to New Mexico, and the very day ascertained upon which the ceremony would take place in Zuñi (see accompanying plate, fig. 1).


Wa-Wah was all excitement to make her preparation of meal, sticks, paint, and feathers. of these were abundant enough in the stores, but nothing of that kind would suffice. Various diplomatic schemes were tried, but her heart was fixed. The prayer must be right to infinitesimal particulars, or she would have nought to do with it.

Meal must be mixed with powdered shells and turquoise; the treasures of the national museum had to be opened; and the very pieces of yellow, blue, and black pigment collected in former years by the Bureau of ethnology must be laid under contribution for the stems of the sacred prayersticks. Mr. Ridgway's department of ornithology was invoked to supply feathers of the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), the wild turkey (Meleagris mexicana), the mallard (Anas boschas), and the bluebird (Scialia arctica).

Fresh twigs from the cottonwood-trees were gathered for stems to the plumes. In the national museum are many boxes, said by the collectors to have been Zuñi plume-boxes (fig. 2), in which such treasures are kept. The plumes, which form the material instrument or accompaniment of the prayer we are describing, are made as follows: Take a straight piece of wood about the size of a lead-pencil and as long as the distance from the crease in the palm of the hand to the end of the middle finger. Make a slight incision around the : stick near one end. Take a short stiff feather of the eagle, the turkey, the duck, and the bluebird, and one or two downy feathers of the eagle.

Lay them together so that all the under sides will be toward the stick, and wrap their quill ends and the stick securely together with a cord made of native cotton, sufficiently long to leave free ends five or six inches in length after the tying. To these free ends tie another bunch of smaller feathers from the four kinds of birds (fig. 3). The upright feathers indicate the prayer as addressed to the sun, moon, and Ko-Ko; the trailing feathers, that the suppliant asks for help to walk in the straight path of Zuñi morality.

Ten plumes were thus finished on Friday, June 18, and dedicated to the several spiritual powers by painting the stems as follows:

1. Sun-plume. Blue stem; feathers of eagle, duck, and bluebird on stem and streamer; 2. Moon-plume. Yellow stem; feathers of eagle, duck, and bluebird on stem and streamer; 3-6. Ko-Ko plumes. - Black stems; feathers of eagle, turkey, duck, and bluebird on stem or streamer; 7-10. Ancestral plumes. Black stems; feathers of eagle, turkey, duck, and bluebird on stem or streamer.

On Saturday, June 19, at two o'clock in the afternoon, in a retired garden in Washington, Wa-Wah performed the ceremony of planting the plumes. Her time was arranged so as to act simultaneously with her people at Zuñi.

A hole was dug six inches square and fourteen inches deep, three inches of loose earth being left in the bottom. Around the top for a foot or more the surface dirt was smoothed like a gardenbed. Meal mixed with powdered shells and turquoise was sprinkled freely about and in the hole. Wa-Wah, arranged in her best attire, holding all of her plumes in her left hand, kneeled by the excavation (fig. 4). Taking the sun-plume in her right hand, she prayed for the good influences of the sun upon herself, her people, the crops, and her friends, and then forced the blue stem into the loose dirt of the cavity on the extreme west side, the inner sides of the feathers toward the east. The prayer continuing, the moon-plume, then the four Ko-Ko plumes, and lastly the four ancestral plumes, were planted in order, all with feathers inclining eastward.

Wa-Wah then arose, drew forth her little bag of sacred meal, poured a small quantity into her own hand and that of each of her two friends, who were watching with the deepest interest. Each, in turn, sprinkled the meal over the shrine, blowing gently with the breath (fig 5).

The utmost sincerity manifested itself in every portion of this ceremony. It seemed to those who gazed in rapt silence at this simple devotion, that they were witnesses to the surviving worship of the primeval world.

It was necessary that the sunlight should look upon this prayer during the rest of the day; therefore every precaution was taken to protect the place from intrusion.

On Monday morning, with the consent of WaWah, the prayer-plumes, and the earth containing them, were carefully dug up, without disturbing a feather (fig. 6), and deposited in the national museum, perhaps the most unique object ever placed among its precious collections.

This ceremony has been carefully studied among the Zuñis by Mr. Frank Cushing and Mrs. Stevenson, and among the Navajos by Dr. Washington Matthews, all of whom will give more detailed descriptions, with translations of the prayers, in the future reports of the Bureau of ethnology. O. T. MASON.

U. S. national museum.

CAN ECONOMISTS AGREE UPON THE BASIS OF THEIR TEACHINGS? ONE of the first and most obvious tests by which to determine whether men possess exact and reliable knowledge of a subject should be afforded by the agreement or disagreement of its recognized cultivators. I propose to show in the present paper that there is no sound reason why political economy should not favorably pass such a test. It is true that its cultivators differ both in the methods and objects of their studies. But such differences do not imply difference of views respecting either fundamental principles or conclusions.

Let us illustrate this by the case of physics. We have some writers and teachers of physics who prefer the experimental method. They teach principles by experiments, and lay little stress on mathematical deduction. Others teach the leading branches of the subject by mathematical reasoning, clothing their results in formulae and theorems.

But these two classes of teachers do not stand in any antagonism to each other, nor accuse each other of ignorance. Each class recognizes the fact that there can be no diversity between correct theory and experimental results, and gives the other credit for aiming at truth in his own way. It is very clear to them that they are viewing and approaching the same subject from different points.

So, also, there are some economists who lay most stress upon the general principles of the science and the conclusions to be deductively obtained from them. Others prefer to lay stress upon the observed facts of society and business, showing the student how to work out such theories as may be founded on the facts he observes.

But it is an unpleasant fact that these two classes of teachers do not, like their brethren the physicists, mutually recognize each other as seeking and reaching valuable truths by different ways. Their attitude toward each other resembles that of the mediaeval philosophers more than that of the modern scientists. They divide themselves into 'schools,' each of which seems very unwilling to admit any truth in the system of the other. I hold that this state of things is a great drawback to the character and usefulness of economic science, and propose to inquire whether there is any necessity for its existence.

Since we must agree upon a common end, I shall assume such end to be the improvement of society, either by promoting such public measures and social movements as tend in that direction, or by discouraging and repressing those which tend to injure society. It is true that this is viewing the subject as an art and a policy rather than a science, and, in fact, taking a stand-point which detracts from its scientific dignity. But I am careful to say that this practical end is not the immediate subject which concerns us, but only the ultimate object which we may have in view.

Admitting, then, that a student desires to know what measures will benefit society, and what measures will injure it, how shall he proceed in acquiring that knowledge? I reply, he must be able to trace beneficial and injurious causes to their effects upon the social organism. If the knights of labor tell him that they want him to favor an eight-hour law, he wants to foresee what effect such a law will have on the interest of all concerned, wage-workers, mechanics, men out of employment, and capitalists. So, also, when two opposing parties want him to vote for or against the coinage of silver, he cannot reach any intelligent conclusion unless he can foresee what effect free coinage or a cessation of coinage will have upon industry, commerce, and wealth. In a word, society being an extremely complicated and delicate organism, he must know what effects different causes may have upon it.

How shall he prepare himself for this great problem? I answer, that he must prepare himself as he would in the case of any other organism or machine: he must begin by understanding the anatomy and physiology of the social organism in its minutest details. Especially must he understand to what forces it is subjected, and what influence these forces have upon its workings.

Possibly we may here be met with the assertion that this is not a subject on which any exact knowledge can be acquired. There are respectable people, even teachers of economics, who seem to deny that they are dealing with a science. All

we can say in reply is, that this arises either from misapprehending what a science is, or from contemning the subject as unworthy of study. Science consists very largely in the establishment of exact relations between cause and effect, and a subject in which such a relation cannot be traced is unworthy of serious study as a science. In a word, if we admit that we can trace the relation of cause and effect, then we admit ourselves to be dealing with a science. If we do not admit this, then it is of no use to talk about questions of economic policy, and the safest course is to frown upon all social movements as productive of results which no man can foresee, and which are as likely to do harm as good.

The next question which arises is, how shall we proceed to acquire the necessary knowledge of society, by purely deductive processes from general principles, or by the study of the facts as developed by history and statistics? I reply, we can attain no result except by a judicious combination of both processes. Some questions can be settled conclusively by common-sense deduction, while others are about matters of fact, and can be settled only by a study of facts. If a proposition were before the people of New York to withdraw water from the Croton Lake for industrial uses, and if the promoters of the scheme should publish an historical investigation of the phenomena of all aqueducts from the time of Caesar until now, to show that the withdrawal of the water would increase the available supply in New York, everybody would laugh at them. So in economics. No study of facts will tell us whether the number of houses available for a community will be increased or diminished by restricting the number of men who shall be allowed to learn the arts of carpentry and brick-laying, and by diminishing their hours of labor. But common sense settles the question at once.

If asked whether the most urgent want of the student is a knowledge of facts, or the practice of deduction and the study of deductive methods, I should reply that neither was urgent. What is really urgent is, that he shall know how to study facts effectively, and be able to understand principles rationally. The prevailing defect of the times is too much reliance on deduction, and too little understanding how to study the facts of the social organism, and how to apply principles to the study. What all economists should agree upon in their teaching, is to emphasize both the understanding of principles and the investigation of facts.

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imports and exports of all nations, and has their laws of banking and currency learned off by heart, but, with all this knowledge, does not understand the laws of supply and demand, nor see any reason why there should be a relation between the imports and exports of a country. The other ideal man has a clear understanding of the laws of supply and demand, and all other abstract principles of economics, but is absolutely ignorant of the actual condition of trade and commerce in any part of the world. Which man is better equipped to answer an economic question? I reply, that, taking them as they stand, neither is well equipped. But the second man has this advantage over the first, that, when the question is presented to him, he will know how to investigate it, and, with the aid of better informed men, will be able to find out the essential facts for himself; while the other man will never be able to make any really valuable use of his knowledge. Hence I prefer a system of instruction which is more concerned in teaching the student how to think and investigate, than in storing his mind with facts.



The Kongo. The steam-launch Peace, belonging to the English missionaries on the Kongo, has been busily engaged, since her arrival on the river, in geographical work. Among the voyages made and reported by the Rev. G. Grenfell are a reconnaissance of the Kassai or Quango to longitude 17° 30' East Greenwich. Another journey included a visit to the Lomami and Ikelemba, affluents of the left bank, and several others of the right bank, among them the Nkemfe, which proved narrow and tortuous. The Mobangi was navigable as far as explored; the Itimbiri also as far as the Lobi Falls, in 23° 28′ east longitude and 1° 50' north latitude. At three or four miles from the junction of the Mbura with the Kongo, the former was found to divide into two branches, both barred by rapids or falls, the south branch having a cataract forty feet high. The Lomami is a fine river; but the current is very swift and the channel tortuous, so that the launch could make good but some six miles a day during the latter part of their stay upon it. In August of last year the Lulongo was ascended to a distance of nearly seven hundred miles. Its principal affluent is the Lopori, in 1° 12′ north latitude. Stanley's Black River, which enters the Kongo near the equator, is formed by the junction of the Juapa and Bosira. Hostile tribes forced the explorers to retreat after exploring the former some three hundred miles, when it was still navigable. The Bosira was only navigable for

about two-thirds that distance. Careful astronomical observations were made, and the final reduction of the many results obtained will greatly ameliorate the charts of the Kongo basin. The Rev. Mr. Grenfell insists upon the richness of the upper Kongo basin, and especially of the Kassai valley, and reiterates the opinion expressed by others, that a railway across the arid region of the lower Kongo is the only means by which commerce can be assured an entrance into this vast and fertile region.

Trade-route to Bolivia. - Information from Buenos Ayres indicates that Thouar departed thence for the upper river last February, and expected to reach Tarija early in April. He was to ascend the Pilcomayo with a Bolivian escort on a steamer of two hundred tons detailed for the purpose. It is hoped that the explorations now in progress will result in a permanent route for the commerce of eastern Bolivia toward the Atlantic. M. Thouar's health continued good, though fever was very prevalent: he attributes his exemption, at least in part, to the use of fumigations of sulphur.

Lake Moeris. - Mr. Cope Whitehouse, who has been investigating the supposed site of Lake Moeris in the Raian basin, writes, that, assisted by Herr Stadler, a government engineer, and his party, a line of levels has been run between the canal of Gharak, connecting with the Nile, and the margin of the depression. At a point twelve metres from the level of the Mediterranean a bench-mark was established, and a sketch of the whole basin made. The ruins of the Wadi Moelleh are supposed by Mr. Whitehouse to be those of Dionisian placed by Ptolemy on a long and narrow arm of Lake Moeris. Col. Scott Moncrieff, director of public works, will have made a general plan and estimates for a canal, to fill the basin from the Nile, as soon as the hot season is


The Mussulmans regard the project favorably, as they have a tradition that Lake Moeris was established by the patriarch Joseph, the Bahr Jussuf still retaining his name. It would result from these works that at high Nile an area of six hundred square kilometres could be covered to a depth of eighty or ninety metres, capable of doubling the volume of the low Nile, and of rendering an immense extent of now desert ground susceptible of cultivation.

The spring in Alaska. The spring in Alaska has been unusually late and cold, with exceptional precipitation. A large number of prospectors have crossed over the divide to the British head waters of the Yukon, in search of the rich diggings found by a lucky few last year. Many of them are doubtless doomed to severe disappoint

ment. The fishing-fleet has already sailed from San Francisco, consisting of eleven vessels, of 2,331 tons, manned by 273 men. Four of the vessels fish in the Okhotsk Sea; the remainder, in Alaskan waters.


PROFESSOR DE LACAZE-DUTHIERS, whose name is familiar to all zoologists, owing to many very good contributions to the biological sciences, has, after a rather severe illness which kept him confined to his room for more than three months, resumed his yearly task, and begun his lectures. As usual, his opening address was devoted to a general summing-up of what work has been done in his laboratory during the past year; but this time, instead of a short summary, he delivered a lengthy address concerning his seventeen-years' task as a professor of zoölogy in the Sorbonne.

M. de Lacaze-Duthiers was appointed in 1869. Professor Milne-Edwards being then professor of comparative anatomy, M. de Lacaze-Duthiers had to undertake the teaching of zoology proper; which he did, it must be said, with a great deal of talent and energy. He understood very well that zoology can be taught only in part, and that the greater part of that science the student must learn by himself alone, without tuition, by practice and experience under the direction of his teacher. In order to give students all possible aid, he undertook to found a marine biological station on the Brittany coast. With the aid of government, he began the laboratory of Roscoff in 1872, and thus accomplished a very useful work. I visited this laboratory some two or three years ago, and spent there a month or so in scientific pursuits. It is very well organized and directed.

Roscoff is a little town, or rather a big village, near Morlaix, where a few people come to spend the summer season, for sea-bathing, and where there is nothing to prevent a good time of hard work, since the only diversion to be had is work itself. The inmates of the laboratory, who are allowed to spend their time as they please, with Professor de Lacaze-Duthiers's consent, live in the laboratory itself. Each has his sleeping-room. Some work in their sleeping-rooms; others, in two or three big rooms fixed up for working purposes, and representing real zoölogical laboratories. A library and a parlor are for general use; an aquarium, with a number of tanks, contains the rare or curious species of the coast; there is also a collection of preserved specimens, which will be used some day to build up a fauna of the Roscoff coast.

Roscoff receives a good number of students who

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