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Title: A Book of Exposition
Author: Nugent, Homer Heath
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Book of Exposition" ***

[Transcribers note: subscripts in the text are
represented by _{X} markup]







It is a pleasure to acknowledge indebtedness to my wife for assistance
in editing and to Dr. Ray Palmer Baker, Head of the Department of
English at the Institute, for suggestions and advice without which this
collection would hardly have been made.





    THE PEA WEEVIL. JEAN HENRI FABRE. Translated by Bernard Miall





The articles here presented are modern and unhackneyed. Selected
primarily as models for teaching the methods of exposition employed in
the explanation of mechanisms, processes, and ideas, they are
nevertheless sufficiently representative of certain tendencies in
science to be of intrinsic value. Indeed, each author is a recognized

Another feature is worthy of mention. Although the material covers so
wide a field--anatomy, zoölogy, physics, psychology, and applied
science--that the collection will appeal to instructors in every type of
college and technical school, the selections are related in such a way
as to produce an impression of unity. This relation is apparent between
the first selection, which deals with the student's body, and the third,
which deals with another organism in nature. The second and fourth
selections deal with kindred aspects of modern industry--the manufacture
of paper and the Linotype machine, by which it is used. The fifth
selection is a protest against certain developments of the industrial
regime; the last, an attempt to reconcile the spirit of science with
that of religion. While monotony has been avoided, the essays form a
distinct unit.

In most cases, selections are longer than usual, long enough in fact to
introduce a student to each field. As a result, he can be made to feel
that every subject is of importance and to realize that every chapter
contains a fund of valuable information. Instead of confusing him by
having him read twenty selections in, let us say, six weeks, it is
possible by assigning but six in the same period, to impress him
definitely with each.

The text-book machinery has been sequestered in the Biographical and
Critical Notes at the end of the book. Their character and position are
intended to permit instructors freedom of treatment. Some may wish to
test a student's ability in the use of reference books by having him
report on allusions. Some may wish to explain these themselves. A few
may find my experience helpful. For them suggestions are included in the
Critical Notes. In general, I have assumed that instructors will prefer
their own methods and have tried to leave them unhampered.



_Sir Arthur Keith_

In all the foregoing chapters we have been considering only the muscular
engines of the human machine, counting them over and comparing their
construction and their mechanism with those of the internal-combustion
engine of a motor cycle. But of the levers or crank-pins through which
muscular engines exert their power we have said nothing hitherto. Nor
shall we get any help by now spending time on the levers of a motor
cycle. We have already confessed that they are arranged in a way which
is quite different from that which we find in the human machine. In the
motor cycle all the levers are of that complex kind which are called
wheels, and the joints at which these levers work are also circular, for
the joints of a motor cycle are the surfaces between the axle and the
bushes, which have to be kept constantly oiled. No, we freely admit that
the systems of levers in the human machine are quite unlike those of a
motor cycle. They are more simple, and it is easy to find in our bodies
examples of all the three orders of levers. The joints at which bony
levers meet and move on each other are very different from those we find
in motor cycles. Indeed, I must confess they are not nearly so simple.
And, lastly, I must not forget to mention another difference. These
levers we are going to study are living--at least, are so densely
inhabited by myriads of minute bone builders that we must speak of them
as living. I want to lay emphasis on that fact because I did not insist
enough on the living nature of muscular engines.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.--Showing a chisel 10 inches long used as a lever
of the first order.]

We are all well acquainted with levers. We apply them every day. A box
arrives with its lid nailed down; we take a chisel, use it as a lever,
pry the lid open, and see no marvel in what we have done (Fig. 1). And
yet we thereby did with ease what would have been impossible for us even
if we had put out the whole of our unaided strength. The use of levers
is an old discovery; more than 1500 years before Christ, Englishmen,
living on Salisbury Plain, applied the invention when they raised the
great stones at Stonehenge and at Avebury; more than 2000 years earlier
still, Egyptians employed it in raising the pyramids. Even at that time
men had made great progress; they were already reaping the rewards of
discoveries and inventions. But none, I am sure, surprised them more
than the discovery of the lever; by its use one man could exert the
strength of a hundred men. They soon observed that levers could be used
in three different ways. The instance already given, the prying open of
a lid by using a chisel as a lever, is an example of one way (Fig. 1);
it is then used as a lever of the first order. Now in the first order,
one end of the lever is applied to the point of resistance, which in the
case just mentioned was the lid of the box. At the other end we apply
our strength, force, or power. The edge of the box against which the
chisel is worked serves as a fulcrum and lies between the handle where
the power is applied and the bevelled edge which moves the resistance or
weight. A pair of ordinary weighing scales also exemplifies the first
order of levers. The knife edge on which the beam is balanced serves as
a fulcrum; it is placed exactly in the middle of the beam, which we
shall suppose to be 10 inches long. If we place a 1-lb. weight in one
scale to represent the resistance to be overcome, the weight will be
lifted the moment that a pound of sugar has been placed in the opposite
scale--the sugar thus representing the power. If, however, we move the
knife-edge or fulcrum so that it is only 1 inch from the sugar end of
the beam and 9 inches from the weight end, then we find that we have to
pour in 9 lb. of sugar to equalise the 1-lb. weight. The chisel used in
prying open the box lid was 10 inches long; it was pushed under the lid
for a distance of 1 inch, leaving 9 inches for use as a power lever. By
using a lever in this way, we increased our strength ninefold. The
longer we make the power arm, the nearer we push the fulcrum towards the
weight or resistance end, the greater becomes our power. This we shall
find is a discovery which Nature made use of many millions of years ago
in fashioning the body of man and of beast. When we apply our force to
the long end of a lever, we increase our power. We may also apply it, as
Nature has done in our bodies, for another purpose. We have just noted
that if the weight end of the beam of a pair of scales is nine times the
length of the sugar end, that a 1-lb. weight will counterpoise 9 lb. of
sugar. We also see that the weight scale moves at nine times the speed
of the sugar scale. Now it often happens that Nature wants to increase,
not the power, but the speed with which a load is lifted. In that case
the "sugar scale" is placed at the long end of the beam and the "weight
scale" at the short end; it then takes a 9-lb. weight to raise a single
pound of sugar, but the sugar scale moves with nine times the speed of
the weight scale. Nature often sacrifices power to obtain speed. The arm
is used as a lever of this kind when a cricket ball is thrown.

Nothing could look less like a pair of scales than a man's head or
skull, and yet when we watch how it is poised and the manner in which it
is moved, we find that it, too, acts as a lever of the first order. The
fulcrum on which it moves is the atlas--the first vertebra of the spine
(Fig. 2). When a man stands quite erect, with the head well thrown back,
the ear passages are almost directly over the fulcrum. It will be
convenient to call that part of the head which is behind the ear
passages the _post-fulcral,_ and the part which is in front the
_pre-fulcral._ Now the face is attached to the pre-fulcral part of the
lever and represents the weight or load to be moved, while the muscles
of the neck, which represent the power, are yoked to the post-fulcral
end of the lever. The hinder part of the head serves as a crank-pin for
seven pairs of neck muscles, but in Fig. 2 only the chief pair is drawn,
known as the _complex_ muscles. When that pair is set in action, the
post-fulcral end of the head lever is tilted downwards, while the
pre-fulcral end, on which the face is set, is turned upwards.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.--The skull as a lever of the first order.]

The complex muscles thus tilt the head backwards and the face upwards,
but where are the muscles which serve as their opponents or antagonists
and reverse the movement? In a previous chapter it has been shown that
every muscle has to work against an opponent or antagonist muscle. Here
we seem to come across a defect in the human machine, for the _greater
straight_ muscles in the front of the neck, which serve as opposing
muscles, are not only much smaller but at a further disadvantage by
being yoked to the pre-fulcral end of the lever, very close to the cup
on which the head rocks. However, if the _greater straight_ muscles lose
power by working on a very short lever, they gain, in speed; we set them
quickly and easily into action when we give a nod of recognition. All
the strength or power is yoked to the post-fulcral end of the head; the
pre-fulcral end of its lever is poorly guarded. Japanese wrestlers know
this fact very well, and seek to gain victory by pressing up the poorly
guarded pre-fulcral lever of the head, thus producing a deadly lock at
the fulcral joint. Indeed, it will be found that those who use the
jiu-jitsu method of fighting have discovered a great deal about the
construction and weaknesses of the levers of the human body.

Merely to poise the head on the atlas may seem to you as easy a matter
as balancing the beam of a pair of scales on an upright support. I am
now going to show that a great number of difficulties had to be overcome
before our heads could be safely poised on our necks. The head had to be
balanced in such a way that through the pivot or joint on which it rests
a safe passageway could be secured for one of the most delicate and most
important of all the parts or structures of the human machine. We have
never found a good English name for this structure, so we use its clumsy
Latin one--_Medulla oblongata_--or medulla for short. In the medulla are
placed offices or centres which regulate the vital operations carried
on by the heart and by the lungs. It has also to serve as a passageway
for thousands of delicate gossamer-like nerve fibres passing from the
brain, which fills the whole chamber of the skull, to the spinal cord,
situated in the canal of the backbone. By means of these delicate fibres
the brain dispatches messages which control the muscular engines of the
limbs and trunk. Through it, too, ascend countless fibres along which
messages pass from the limbs and trunk to the brain. In creating a
movable joint for the head, then, a safe passage had to be obtained for
the medulla--that part of the great nerve stem which joins the brain to
the spinal cord. The medulla is part of the brain stem.

This was only one of the difficulties which had to be overcome. The eyes
are set on the pre-fulcral lever of the head. For our safety we must be
able to look in all directions--over this shoulder or that. We must also
be able to turn our heads so that our ears may discover in which
direction a sound is reaching us. In fashioning a fulcral joint for the
head, then, two different objects had to be secured: free mobility for
the head, and a safe transit for the medullary part of the brain stem.
How well these objects have been attained is known to all of us, for we
can move our heads in the freest manner and suffer no damage whatsoever.
Indeed, so strong and perfect is the joint that damage to it is one of
the most uncommon accidents of life.

Let us see, then, how this triumph in engineering has been secured. In
her inventive moods Nature always hits on the simplest plan possible. In
this case she adopted a ball-and-socket joint--the kind by which older
astronomers mounted their telescopes. By such a joint the telescope
becomes, just as the head is, a lever of the first order. The eyeglass
is placed at one end of the lever, while the object-glass, which can be
swept across the face of the heavens, is placed at the other or more
distant end. In the human body the first vertebra of the backbone--the
atlas--is trimmed to form a socket, while an adjacent part of the base
of the skull is shaped to play the part of ball. The kind of joint to be
used having been hit upon, the next point was to secure a safe passage
for the brain stem. That, too, was worked out in the simplest fashion.
The central parts of both ball and socket were cut away, or, to state
the matter more exactly, were never formed. Thus a passage was obtained
right through the centre of the fulcral joint of the head. The centre of
the joint was selected because when a lever is set in motion the part at
the fulcrum moves least, and the medulla, being placed at that point, is
least exposed to disturbance when we bend our heads backwards, forwards,
or from side to side. When we examine the base of the skull, all that we
see of the ball of the joint are two knuckles of bone (Fig. 3, A),
covered by smooth slippery cartilage or gristle, to which anatomists
give the name of occipital condyles. If we were to try to complete the
ball, of which they form a part, we should close up the great
opening--the _foramen magnum_--which provides a passageway for the brain
stem on its way to the spinal canal. All that is to be seen of the
socket or cup is two hollows on the upper surface of the atlas into
which the occipital condyles fit (Fig. 3, B). Merely two parts of the
brim of the cup have been preserved to provide a socket for the
condyles or ball.

[Illustration: Fig. 3.--A, The opening in the base of the skull, by
which the brain stem passes to the spinal canal. The two occipital
condyles represent part of the ball which fits into the cup formed by
the atlas. B, The parts of the socket on the ring of the atlas.]

As we bend our heads, the occipital condyles revolve or glide on the
sockets of the atlas. But what will happen if we roll our heads
backwards to such an extent that the bony edge of the opening in the
base of the skull is made to press hard against the brain stem and crush
it? That, of course, would mean instant death. Such an accident has been
made impossible (1) by making the opening in the base of the skull so
much larger than the brain stem that in extreme movements there can be
no scissors-like action; (2) the muscles which move the head on the
atlas arrest all movements long before the danger-point is reached; (3)
even if the muscles are caught off their guard, as they sometimes are,
certain strong ligaments--fastenings of tough fibres--are so set as
automatically to jam the joint before the edge of the foramen can come
in contact with the brain stem.

These are only some of the devices which Nature had to contrive in order
to secure a safe passageway for the brain stem. But in obtaining safety
for the brain stem, the movements of the head on the atlas had to be
limited to mere nodding or side-to-side bending. The movements which are
so necessary to us, that of turning our heads so that we can sweep our
eyes along the whole stretch of the skyline from right to left, and from
left to right, were rendered impossible. This defect was also overcome
in a simple manner. The joints between the first and second
vertebrae--the atlas and axis--were so modified that a turning movement
could take place between them instead of between the atlas and skull.
When we turn or rotate our heads, the atlas, carrying the skull upon it,
swings or turns on the axis. When we search for the manner in which this
has been accomplished, we see again that Nature has made use of the
simplest means at her disposal. When we examine a vertebra in the course
of construction within an unborn animal, we see that it is really made
up by the union of four parts (see Fig. 4): a central block which
becomes the "body" or supporting part; a right and a left arch which
enclose a passage for the spinal cord; and, lastly, a fourth part in
front of the central block which becomes big and strong only in the
first vertebra--the atlas. When we look at the atlas (Fig. 4), we see
that it is merely a ring made up of three of the parts--the right and
left arches and the fourth element,--but the body is missing. A glance
at Fig. 4, B, will show what has become of the body of the atlas. It
has been joined to the central block of the second vertebra--the
axis--and projects upwards within the front part of the ring of the
atlas, and thus forms a pivot round which rotatory movements of the head
can take place. Here we have in the atlas an approach to the formation
of a wheel--a wheel which has its axle or pivot placed at some distance
from its centre, and therefore a complete revolution of the atlas is
impossible. A battery of small muscles is attached to the lateral levers
of the atlas and can swing it freely, and the head which it carries, a
certain number of degrees to both right and left. The extent of the
movements is limited by stout check ligaments. Thus, by the simple
expedient of allowing the body of the atlas to be stolen by the axis, a
pivot was obtained round which the head could be turned on a horizontal

[Illustration: Fig. 4.--A, The original parts of the first or atlas
vertebra. B, Showing the "body" of the first vertebra fixed to the
second, thus forming the pivot on which the head turns.]

Nature thus set up a double joint for the movements of the head, one
between the atlas and axis for rotatory movements, another between the
atlas and skull for nodding and side-to-side movements. And all these
she increased by giving flexibility to the whole length of the neck.
Makers of modern telescopes have imitated the method Nature invented
when fixing the human head to the spine. Their instruments are mounted
with a double joint--one for movements in a horizontal plane, the other
for movements in a vertical plane. We thus see that the young engineer,
as well as the student of medicine, can learn something from the
construction of the human body.

In low forms of vertebrate animals like the fish and frog, the head is
joined directly to the body, there being no neck.

No matter what part of the human body we examine, we shall find that its
mechanical work is performed by means of bony levers. Having seen how
the head is moved as a lever of the first order, we are now to choose a
part which will show us the plan on which levers of the second order
work, and there are many reasons why we should select the foot. It is a
part which we are all familiar with; every day we can see it at rest and
in action. The foot, as we have already noted, serves as a lever in
walking. It is a bent or arched lever (Fig. 6); when we stand on one
foot, the whole weight of our body rests on the summit of the arch. We
are thus going to deal with a lever of a complex kind.

[Illustration: Fig. 5.--Showing a chisel used as a lever of the second

In using a chisel to pry open the lid of a box, we may use it as a lever
either of the first or of the second order. We have already seen (Fig.
1) that, in using it as a lever of the first order, we pushed the handle
downwards, while the bevelled end was raised, forcing open the lid. The
edge of the box served as a rest or fulcrum for the chisel. If, however,
after inserting the bevelled edge under the lid, we raise the handle
instead of depressing it, we change the chisel into a lever of the
second order. The lid is not now forced up on the bevelled edge, but is
raised on the side of the chisel, some distance from the bevelled edge,
which thus comes to represent the fulcrum. By using a chisel in this
way, we reverse the positions of the weight and fulcrum and turn it into
a lever of the second order. Suppose we push the side of the
chisel--which is 10 inches long--under the lid to the extent of 1 inch,
then the advantage we gain in power is as 1 to 10; we thereby increase
our strength tenfold. If we push the chisel under the lid for half its
length, then our advantage stands as 10 to 5; our strength is only
doubled. If we push it still further for two-thirds of its length, then
our gain in strength is only as 10 to 6.6; our power is increased by
only one-third. Now this has an important bearing on the problem we are
going to investigate, for the weight of our body falls on the foot, so
that only about one-third of the lever--that part of it which is formed
by the heel--projects behind the point on which the weight of the body
rests. The strength of the muscles which act on the heel will be
increased only by about one-third.

We have already seen that a double engine, made up of the
_gastrocnemius_ and _soleus_, is the power which is applied to the heel
when we walk, and that the pad of the foot, lying across the sole in
line with the ball of the great toe, serves as a fulcrum or rest. The
weight of the body falls on the foot between the fulcrum in front and
the power behind, as in a lever of the second order. We have explained
why the power of the muscles of the calf is increased the more the
weight of the body is shifted towards the toes, but it is also evident
that the speed and the extent to which the body is lifted are
diminished. If, however, the weight be shifted more towards the heel,
the muscles of the calf, although losing in power, can lift their load
more quickly and to a greater extent.

We must look closely at the foot lever if we are to understand it. It is
arched or bent; the front pillar of the arch stretches from the summit
or keystone, where the weight of the body is poised, to the pad of the
foot or fulcrum (Fig. 6); the posterior pillar, projecting as the heel,
extends from the summit to the point at which the muscular power is
applied. A foot with a short anterior pillar and a long posterior pillar
or heel is one designed for power, not speed. It is one which will serve
a hill-climber well or a heavy, corpulent man. The opposite kind, one
with a short heel and a long pillar in front, is well adapted for
running and sprinting--for speed. Now, we do find among the various
races of mankind that some have been given long heels, such as the
dark-skinned natives of Africa and of Australia, while other races have
been given relatively short, stumpy heels, of which sort the natives of
Europe and of China may be cited as examples. With long heels less
powerful muscular engines are required, and hence in dark races the calf
of the leg is but ill developed, because the muscles which move the heel
are small. We must admit, however, that the gait of dark-skinned races
is usually easy and graceful. We Europeans, on the other hand, having
short heels, need more powerful muscles to move them, and hence our
calves are usually well developed, but our gait is apt to be jerky.

[Illustration: Fig. 6.--The bones forming the arch of the foot, seen
from the inner side.]

If we had the power to make our heels longer or shorter at will, we
should be able, as is the case in a motor cycle, to alter our
"speed-gear" according to the needs of the road. With a steep hill in
front of us, we should adopt a long, slow, powerful heel; while going
down an incline a short one would best suit our needs. With its
four-change speed-gear a motor cycle seems better adapted for easy and
economical travelling than the human machine. If, however, the human
machine has no change of gear, it has one very marvellous
mechanism--which we may call a _compensatory_ mechanism, for want of a
short, easy name. The more we walk, the more we go hill-climbing, the
more powerful do the muscular engines of the heel become. It is quite
different with the engine of a motor cycle; the more it is used, the
more does it become worn out. It is because a muscular engine is living
that it can respond to work by growing stronger and quicker.

I have no wish to extol the human machine unduly, nor to run down the
motor cycle because of certain defects. There is one defect, however,
which is inherent in all motor machines which man has invented, but from
which the human machine is almost completely free. We can illustrate the
defect best by comparing the movements of the heel with those of the
crank-pin of an engine. One serves as the lever by which the
gastrocnemius helps to propel the body; the other serves the same
purpose in the propulsion of a motor cycle. On referring to Fig. 7, A,
the reader will see that the piston-rod and the crank-pin are in a
straight line; in such a position the engine is powerless to move the
crank-pin until the flywheel is started, thus setting the crank-pin in
motion. Once started, the leverage increases, until the crank-pin stands
at right angles to the piston-rod--a point of maximum power which is
reached when the piston is in the position shown in Fig. 7, B. Then the
leverage decreases until the second dead centre is reached (Fig. 7, C);
from that point the leverage is increased until the second maximum is
reached (Fig. 7, D), whereafter it decreases until the arrival at the
first position completes the cycle. Thus, in each revolution there are
two points where all leverage or power is lost, points which are
surmounted because of the momentum given by the flywheel. Clearly we
should get most out of an engine if it could be kept working near the
points of maximum leverage--with the lever as nearly as possible at
right angles to the crank-pin.

[Illustration: Fig. 7.--Showing the crank-pin of an engine at: A, First
dead centre. B, First maximum leverage. C, Second dead centre. D, Second
maximum leverage.]

Now, we have seen that the tendon of Achilles is the piston cord, and
the heel the crank-pin, of the muscular engine represented by the
gastrocnemius and soleus. In the standing posture the heel slopes
downwards and backwards, and is thus in a position, as regards its
piston cord, considerably beyond the point of maximum leverage. As the
heel is lifted by the muscles, it gradually becomes horizontal and at
right angles to its tendon or piston cord. As the heel rises, then, it
becomes a more effective lever; the muscles gain in power. The more the
foot is arched, the more obliquely is the heel set and the greater is
the strength needed to start it moving. Hence, races like the European
and Mongolian, which have short as well as steeply set heels, need large
calf muscles. It is at the end of the upward stroke that the heel
becomes most effective as a lever, and it is just then that we most need
power to propel our bodies in a forward direction. It will be noted that
the heel, unlike the crank-pin of an engine, never reaches, never even
approaches, that point of powerlessness known to engineers as a dead
centre. Work is always performed within the limits of the most effective
working radius of the lever. It is a law for all the levers of the body;
they are set and moved in such a way as to avoid the occurrence of dead
centres. Think what our condition would have been were this not so; why,
we should require revolving fly-wheels set in all our joints!

[Illustration: Fig. 8.--The arch of the foot from the inner side,
showing some of the muscles which maintain it.]

Another property is essential in a lever: it must be rigid; otherwise it
will bend, and power will be lost. Now, if the foot were a rigid lever,
there would be missing two of its most useful qualities. It could no
longer act as a spring or buffer to the body, nor could it adapt its
sole to the various kinds of surfaces on which we have to tread or
stand. Nature, with her usual ingenuity, has succeeded in combining
those opposing qualities--rigidity, suppleness, and elasticity or
springiness--by resorting to her favorite device, the use of muscular
engines. The arch is necessarily constructed of a number of bones which
can move on each other to a certain extent, so that the foot may adapt
itself to all kinds of roads and paths. It is true that the bones of the
arch are loosely bound together by passive ties or ligaments, but as
these cannot be lengthened or shortened at will, Nature had to fall back
on the use of muscular engines for the maintenance of the foot as an
arched lever. Some of these are shown in Fig. 8. The foot, then, is a
lever of a very remarkable kind; all the time we stand or walk, its
rigidity, its power to serve as a lever, has to be maintained by an
elaborate battery of muscular engines all kept constantly at work. No
wonder our feet and legs become tired when we have to stand a great
deal. Some of these engines, the larger ones, are kept in the leg, but
their tendons or piston cords descend below the ankle-joint to be fixed
to various parts of the arch, and thus help to keep it up (Fig. 8).
Within the sole of the foot has been placed an installation of seventeen
small engines, all of them springing into action when we stand up, thus
helping to maintain the foot as a rigid yet flexible lever.

We have already seen why our muscles are so easily exhausted when we
stand stock-still; they then get no rest at all. Now, it sometimes
happens in people who have to stand for long periods at a stretch that
these muscular engines which maintain the arch are overtaxed; the arch
of the foot gives way. The foot becomes flat and flexible, and can no
longer serve as a lever. Many men and women thus become permanently
crippled; they cannot step off their toes, but must shuffle along on the
inner sides of their feet. But if the case of the overworked muscles
which maintain the arch is hard in grown-up people, it is even harder in
boys and girls who have to stand quite still for a long time, or who
have to carry such burdens as are beyond their strength. When we are
young, the bony levers and muscular engines of our feet have not only
their daily work to do, but they have continually to effect those
wonderful alterations which we call growth. Hence, the muscular engines
of young people need special care; they must be given plenty of work to
do, but that kind of active action which gives them alternate strokes of
work and rest. Even the engine of a motor cycle has three strokes of
play for one of work. Our engines, too, must have a liberal supply of
the right kind of fuel. But even with all those precautions, we have to
confess that the muscular engines of the foot do sometimes break down,
and the leverage of the foot becomes threatened. Nor have we succeeded
in finding out why they are so liable to break down in some boys and
girls and not in others. Some day we shall discover this too.

We are now to look at another part of the human machine so that we may
study a lever of the third order. The lever formed by the forearm and
hand will suit our purpose very well. It is pivoted or jointed at the
elbow; the elbow is its fulcrum (Fig. 9 B). At the opposite end of the
lever, in the, upturned palm of the hand, we shall place a weight of 1
lb. to represent the load to be moved. The power which we are to yoke to
the lever is a strong muscular engine we have not mentioned before,
called the _brachialis anticus_, or front brachial muscle. It lies in
the upper arm, where it is fixed to the bone of that part--the humerus.
It is attached to one of the bones of the forearm--the ulna--just beyond
the elbow.

In the second order of lever, we have seen that the muscle worked on one
end, while the weight rested on the lever somewhere between the muscular
attachment and the fulcrum. In levers of the third order, the load is
placed at the end of the lever, and the muscle is attached somewhere
between the load and the fulcrum (Fig. 9 A). In the example we are
considering, the brachial muscle is attached about half an inch beyond
the fulcrum at the elbow, while the total length of the lever, measured
from the elbow to the palm, is 12 inches. Now, it is very evident that
the muscle or power being attached so close to the elbow, works under a
great disadvantage as regards strength. It could lift a 24-lb. weight
placed on the forearm directly over its attachment as easily as a single
pound weight placed on the palm. But, then, there is this advantage: the
1-lb. weight placed in the hand moves with twenty-four times the speed
of the 24-lb. weight situated near the elbow. What is lost in strength
is gained in speed. Whenever Nature wishes to move a light load quickly,
she employs levers of the third order.

[Illustration: Fig. 9A.--A chisel used as a lever of the third order. W,
weight; P, power; F, fulcrum.]

We have often to move our forearm very quickly, sometimes to save our
lives. The difference of one-hundredth of a second may mean life or
death to us on the face of a cliff when we clutch at a branch or jutting
rock to save a fall. The quickness of a blow we give or fend depends on
the length of our reach. A long forearm and hand are ill adapted for
lifting heavy burdens; strength is sacrificed if they are too long.
Hence, we find that the laboring peoples of the world--Europeans and
Mongolians--have usually short forearms and hands, while the peoples who
live on such bounties as Nature may provide for them have relatively
long forearms and hands.

[Illustration: Fig. 9B.--The forearm and hand as a lever of the third

Now, man differs from anthropoid apes, which are distant cousins of his,
in having a forearm which is considerably shorter than the upper arm;
whereas in anthropoid apes the forearm is much the longer. That fact
surprises us at first, especially when we remember that anthropoids
spend most of their lives amongst trees and use their arms much more
than their legs in swinging the weight of their heavy bodies from branch
to branch and from tree to tree. A long forearm and hand give them a
long and quick reach, so that they can seize distant branches and swing
themselves along safely and at a good pace. Our first thought is to
suppose that a long forearm, being a weak lever, will be ill adapted
for climbing. But when you look at Fig. 10, the explanation becomes
plain. When a branch is seized by the hand, and the whole weight of the
body is supported from it, the entire machinery of the arm changes its
action. The forearm is no longer the lever which the brachial muscle
moves (Fig. 10), but now becomes the base from which it acts. The part
which was its piston cord now serves as its base of fixation, and what
was its base of fixation to the humerus becomes its piston cord. The
humerus has become a lever of the third order; its fulcrum is at the
elbow; the weight of the body is attached to it at the shoulder and
represents the load which has to be lifted. We also notice that the
brachial muscle is attached a long way up the humerus, thus increasing
its power very greatly, although the rate at which it helps in lifting
the body is diminished. We can see, then, why the humerus is short and
the forearm long in anthropoid apes; shortening the humerus makes it
more powerful as a lever for lifting the body. That is why anthropoids
are strong and agile tree-climbers. But then watch them use those long
hands and forearms for the varied and precise movements we have to
perform in our daily lives, and you will see how clumsy they are.

[Illustration: Fig. 10.--Showing the action of the brachialis anticus in
the arm of an anthropoid ape.]

In the human machine the levers of the arm have been fashioned, not for
climbing, but for work of another kind--the kind which brings us a
livelihood. We must have perfect control over our hands; the longer the
lever of the forearm is made, the more difficult does control of the
hand become. Hence, in the human machine the forearm is made relatively
short and the upper arm long.

We have just seen that the brachial muscle could at one time move the
forearm and hand, but that when they are fixed it could then use the
humerus as a lever and thereby lift the weight of the body. What should
we think of a metal engine which could reverse its action so that it
could act through its piston-rod at one time and through its cylinder at
another? Yet that is what a great number of the muscular engines of the
human machine do every day.

There is another little point, but an important one, which I must
mention before this chapter is finished. I have spoken of the forearm
and hand as if they formed a single solid lever. Of course that is not
so; there are joints at the wrist where the hand can be moved on the
forearm. But when a weight is placed in the hand, these joints became
fixed by the action of muscles. The fixing muscles are placed in the
forearm, both in front and behind, and are set in action the moment the
hand is loaded. The wrist joint is fixed just in the same way as the
joints of the foot are made rigid by muscles when it has to serve as a
lever. Even when we take a pen in our hand and write, these engines
which balance and fix the wrist have to be in action all the time. The
steadiness of our writing depends on how delicately they are balanced.
Like the muscles of the foot, the fixers of the wrist may become
overworked and exhausted, as occasionally happens in men and women who
do not hold their pens correctly and write for long spells day after
day. The break-down which happens in them is called "writer's cramp,"
but it is a disaster of the same kind as that which overtakes the foot
when its arch collapses, and its utility as a lever is lost.


[Footnote 1: From _The Engines of the Human Body_, Chapters VI and VII.
J.B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia, 1920; Williams and Norgate,
London, 1920.]



_Philip T. Dodge_

The Mergenthaler Linotype machine appeared in crude form about 1886.
This machine differs widely from all others in that it is adapted to
produce the type-faces for each line properly justified on the edge of a
solid slug or linotype.

These slugs, automatically produced and assembled by the machine, are
used in the same manner as other type-forms, whether for direct printing
or for electrotyping, and are remelted after use.


The general organization of the machine will first be described. After
this the details will be more fully explained and attention plainly
directed to the various parts which require special consideration.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

The machine contains, as the vital element, about sixteen hundred
matrices, such as are shown in Fig. 1, each consisting of a small brass
plate having in one edge the female character or matrix proper, and in
the upper end a series of teeth, used as hereinafter explained for
distributing the matrices after use to their proper places in the
magazine of the machine. There are in the machine a number of matrices
for each letter and also matrices representing special characters, and
spaces or quadrats of different thicknesses for use in table-work. There
is a series of finger keys representing the various characters and
spaces, and the machine is so organized that on manipulating the keys it
selects the matrices in the order in which their characters are to
appear in print, and assembles them in a line, with wedge-shaped spaces
or justifiers between the words. The series of matrices thus assembled
in line forms a line matrix, or, in other words, a line of female dies
adapted to mold or form a line of raised type on a slug cast against the
matrices. After the matrix line is composed, it is automatically
transferred to the face of a slotted mold into which molten type-metal
is delivered to form a slug or linotype against the matrices. This done,
the matrices are returned to the magazine and distributed, to be again
composed in new relations for succeeding lines.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

Fig. 2 illustrates the general organization of the machine.

_A_ represents an inclined channelled magazine in which the matrices are
stored. Each channel has at the lower end an escapement _B_ to release
the matrices one at a time. Each of these escapements is connected by a
rod _C_ and intermediate devices to one of the finger-keys in the
keyboard _D_. These keys represent the various characters as in a
typewriter. The keys are depressed in the order in which the characters
and spaces are to appear, and the matricies, released successively from
the lower end of the magazine, descend between the guides _E_ to the
surface of an inclined travelling belt _F_, by which they are carried
downward and delivered successively into a channel in the upper part of
the assembling elevator _G_, in which they are advanced by a star-shaped
wheel, seen at the right.

The wedge-shaped spaces or justifiers _I_ are held in a magazine _H_,
from which they are delivered at proper intervals by finger-key _J_ in
the keyboard, so that they may pass downward and assume their proper
positions in the line of matrices.

When the composition of the line is completed, the assembling elevator
_G_ is raised and the line is transferred, as indicated by dotted lines,
first to the left and then downward to the casting position in front of
the slotted mold seated in and extending through the vertical wheel _K_,
as shown in Figs. 2 and 3. The line of matrices is pressed against and
closes the front of the mold, the characters on the matrices standing
directly opposite the slot in the mold, as shown. The back of the mold
communicates with and is closed by the mouth of a melting-pot _M_,
containing a supply of molten metal and heated by a Bunsen burner
underneath. Within the pot is a vertical pump-plunger which acts at the
proper time to drive the molten metal through the perforated mouth of
the pot into the mold and into all the characters in the matrices. The
metal, solidifying, forms a slug or linotype bearing on its edge, in
relief, type-characters produced from the matrices. The matrices and the
pot are immediately separated from the mold, and the mold wheel rotates
until the slug contained in the mold is presented in front of an ejector
blade, where the slug is ejected from the mold through a pair of knives,
which trim the sides to the required size, into the receiving galley, as
shown in Fig. 4.

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

[Illustration: Fig. 4.]

After the line of matrices and spaces has served its purpose, it is
raised from the casting position and moved to the right, as shown by the
dotted lines and arrows in Fig. 2. The teeth in the upper ends of the
matrices are engaged with a toothed bar _R_, known as the second
elevator. This elevator swings upward, as shown by dotted lines,
carrying the matrices to the level of the upper end of the magazine, and
leaving the spaces or justifiers behind to be transferred to their
magazine _H_.

The distributing mechanism consists essentially of a fixed bar _T_,
lying in a horizontal position above the upper end of the magazine, and
having along its lower edge, as shown in Fig. 2, horizontal teeth to
engage the teeth in the upper end of the matrices and hold them in
suspension. The teeth of the matrix for each letter differ in number or
arrangement, or both, from the teeth of matrices bearing other letters,
and the teeth on the lower edge of the distributor bar are
correspondingly varied in arrangement at different points in the length
of the bar. (See Fig. 2.)

The matrices are moved forward into engagement with the distributor bar
and also into engagement with the threads of horizontal screws _U_,
which are extended parallel with the distributor bar and constantly
rotated so that they cause the matrices to travel one after another
along the distributor and over the mouths of the channels in the
magazines. Each matrix is held in suspension until it arrives over its
proper channel, where for the first time its teeth bear such relation to
those of the bar that it is released and permitted to fall into the

The speed of the machine, which is commonly from four to five thousand
ems per hour, but which has reached ten thousand and upward in
competitive trials, is due to the fact that the matrices pursue a
circulatory course, leaving the magazine at the lower end, passing
thence to the line and to the casting mechanism, and finally returning
to the top of the magazine. This permits the composition of one line,
the casting of another, and the distribution of a third to proceed


The matrices pass through the magazine by gravity. Their release is
effected by mechanisms shown in Figs. 5 and 6, which are vertical
sections through the magazine, the keyboard, and intermediate
connections. Under each channel of the magazine, there is an escapement
_B_, consisting of a small lever rocking at its centre on a horizontal
pivot, and carrying at its opposite ends two dogs or pawls _b, b_, which
are projected up alternately into the magazine by the motion of the
lever. The key-rod _C_, suspended from the rear end of the escapement
_B_, tends to hold the lower pawl _b_ in an elevated position, as shown
in Fig. 5, so that it engages under the upper ear of the foremost matrix
to prevent its escape.

[Illustration: Fig. 5.]

When the escapement _B_ is rocked, it withdraws the lower pawl _b_, as
shown in Fig. 6, at the same time raising the upper pawl, so that it
engages and momentarily arrests the next matrix. As soon as the first
matrix has escaped, the escapement resumes its original position, the
upper pawl falling, while the lower one rises so as to hold the second
matrix, which assumes the position previously occupied by the one

[Illustration: Fig. 6.]

Thus it is that the alternate rising and falling of the two escapement
pawls permits the matrices to escape one at a time. It is evident that
the escapements could be operated directly by rods connected with the
finger-keys, but this direct connection is objectionable because of the
labor required on the part of the operator, and the danger that the keys
may not be fully depressed. Moreover, it is essential that the
escapements should act individually with moderate speed to the end that
the matrices may be properly engaged and disengaged by the pawls. For
these reasons, and to secure easy and uniform action of the parts, the
mechanism shown in Figs. 5 and 6 is introduced between the finger-keys
and escapements. The vertical rods _C_, which actuate the escapements,
are guided in the main frame, and each is urged downward by a spring
_c_. Each rod _C_ terminates directly over one end of a rising and
falling yoke-bar _c2_, turning on a pivot _c3_ at the opposite
end. Each of the yokes _c2_ is slotted vertically to admit an
eccentric _c4_ turning on a pivot therein. A constantly rotating
rubber-covered roll _c5_ is extended across the entire keyboard
beneath the cams, which stand normally as shown in Fig. 5, out of
contact with the roll. When the parts are in this position, the cam-yoke
is sustained at its free end by the yoke-trigger _c8_, and a
cross-bar in the cam engages a vertical pin _c7_ on the frame,
whereby the cam is prevented from falling on to the roller, as it has a
tendency to do. Each of the yoke-triggers _c6_ is connected with a
vertical bar _c8_, which is in turn connected to the rear end of a
finger-key lever _D_. The parts stand normally at rest in the position
shown in Fig. 5, the roll _c5_ turning freely under the cam without
effect upon it.

When the finger-key is depressed, it raises the bar _c8_, which in
turn trips the yoke-trigger _c6_ from under the cam-yoke _c2_,
permitting the latter to fall, thereby lowering the cam _c4_ into
peripheral engagement with the rubber roll, at the same time disengaging
the cam from the stop-pin _c7_. The roll, engaging frictionally with
the cam, causes the latter to turn on its centre in the direction
indicated by the arrow in Fig. 6.

Owing to the eccentric shape of the cam, its rotation while resting on
the roller causes it to lift the yoke _c2_ above its original
position, so that it acts upon the escapement rod _C_, lifting it and
causing it to reverse the position of the escapement _B_, to release the
matrix, as plainly seen in Fig. 6.

While this is taking place, the yoke-trigger _c6_ resumes its first
position, as shown in dotted lines in Fig. 6, so that as the rotating
cam lowers the yoke, it is again supported in its first position, the
cam at the same time turning forward by momentum out of engagement with
the roll until arrested in its original position by the pin _c7_.

It will be observed that the parts between each key lever and escapement
operate independently of the others, so that a number of cams may be in
engagement with the rollers at one time, and a number of escapements at
different stages of their action at one time.

The matrices falling from the magazine descend through the front
channels and are received on the inclined belt _F_, on which they are
carried over and guided on the upper rounding surface of the assembler
entrance-block _f1_, by which they are guided downward in front of
the star-wheel _f2_, which pushes them forward one after another.

The spaces or justifiers _I_, released from their magazine _H_, as
heretofore described, descend into the assembler _G_ in front of the
star-wheel in the same manner as the matrices.

The line in course of composition is sustained at its front end by a
yielding finger or resistant _g_, secured to a horizontal assembler
slide _g2_, the purpose of these parts being to hold the line
together in compact form.

[Illustration: Fig. 7.]

As the matrices approach the line, their upper ends are carried over a
spring _g3_, projecting through the assembler face-plate from the
rear, as shown in Fig. 7, its purpose being to hold the matrices forward
and prevent them from falling back in such a manner that succeeding
matrices and spaces or justifiers will pass improperly ahead of them.
The descending matrices also pass beneath a long depending spring
_g4_, which should be so adjusted as barely to permit the passage of
the thickest matrix.

[Illustration: Fig. 8.]

[Illustration: Fig. 9.]

After the composition of the line is completed in the assembling
elevator _G_, as shown in Fig. 8, the elevator is raised as shown in
Fig. 9, so as to present the line between the depending fingers of the
transfer-carriage _N_, which then moves to the left to the position
shown by dotted lines in Fig. 9, thereby bringing the line into the
first elevator _O_, which then descends, carrying the line of matrices
downwards, as shown in Fig. 10, to its position in front of the mold and
between the confining jaws _P_, _P_, mounted in the main frame, which
determine the length of the line.

Figs. 11 and 12 show the casting mechanism in vertical section from
front to rear. When the first elevator _O_ lowers the line, as just
described, the mold and the pot _M_ stand in their rearward positions,
as shown in Fig. 11.

[Illustration: Fig. 10.]

[Illustration: Fig. 11.]

The mold-carrying wheel is sustained by a horizontal slide, and as soon
as the matrix line is lowered to the casting position, a cam at the
rear pushes the slide and mold wheel forward until the front face of the
mold is closed tightly against the rear face of the matrix line, as
shown in Fig. 12.

[Illustration: Fig. 12.]

While this is taking place, the pot, having its supporting legs mounted
on a horizontal shaft, swings forward until its mouth is closed tightly
against the back of the mold, as shown in Fig. 12. While the parts are
in this position, the justifying bar _Q_ is driven up and pushes the
spaces or justifiers upward through the line of matrices until the line
is expanded or elongated to fill completely the gap between jaws _P_,

In order to secure exact alignment of the matrices vertically and
horizontally, the bar _Q_ acts repeatedly on the spaces, and the line
is slightly unlocked endwise and relocked. This is done that the
matrices may be temporarily released to facilitate the accurate
adjustment demanded. While the justified line is locked fast between the
jaws, the elevator, and the mold, the plunger _m2_ in the pot
descends and drives the molten metal before it through the spout or
mouth of the pot into the mold, which is filled under pressure, so that
a solid slug is produced against the matrices. The pot then retreats,
and its mouth breaks away from the back of the slug in the mold, while,
at the same time, the mold retreats to draw the type-characters on the
contained slug out of the matrices. The mold wheel now revolves,
carrying the rear edge of the slug past a stationary trimming-knife, not
shown, and around to the position in front of the ejector, as previously
described and shown in Fig. 4, whereupon the ejector advances and drives
the slug between two side trimming-knives into the galley at the front.


After the casting action the first elevator _O_ rises and carries the
matrix line above the original or composing level, as shown in Fig. 13.
The line is then drawn horizontally to the right until the teeth of the
matrices engage the toothed elevator bar _R_, which swings upward with
the matrices, thus separating the matrices from the spaces or justifiers
_I_, which remain suspended in the frame, so that they may be pushed to
the right, as indicated by the arrow, into their magazine.

[Illustration: Fig. 13.]

[Illustration: Fig. 14.]

When the line of matrices is raised to the distributor, it is necessary
that the matrices shall be separated and presented one at a time to the
distributor bar, between the threads of the horizontal carrier-screws.
This is accomplished as shown in Figs. 14 and 15. A horizontal pusher or
line-shifter _S_ carries the line of matrices forward from the elevator
bar _R_ into the so-called distributor box, containing at its opposite
sides two rails _u_, having near their forward ends shoulders _u2_,
against which the forward matrix abuts so as to prevent further advance
of the line, which is urged constantly forward by the follower or
line-shifter _S_. A vertically reciprocating lifting finger _V_ has its
upper end shouldered to engage beneath the foremost matrix, so as to
push it upward until its upper ears are lifted above the detaining
shoulder _u2_, so that they may ride forward on the upwardly inclined
inner ends of the rails, as shown in Fig. 14. The matrices thus lifted
are engaged by the screws and carried forward, and, as they move
forward, they are gradually raised by the rails until the teeth finally
engage themselves on the distributor bar _T_, from which they are
suspended as they are carried forward, over the mouth of the magazine,
until they fall into their respective channels, as shown in Fig. 15.

The distributor box also contains on opposite sides shorter rails,
_u4_, adapted to engage the lower ends of the matrices, to hold them
in position as they are lifted. The lifting finger _V_ is mounted on a
horizontal pivot in one end of an elbow lever mounted on pivot _v2_
and actuated by a cam on the end of one of the carrier-screws, as shown
in Figs. 2 and 15.


In practice there is occasionally found a slight irregularity in the
thickness of slugs, and thin fins are sometimes cast around the forward
edges. For the purpose of reducing them to a uniform thickness, they are
driven on their way to the galley between two vertical knives, as shown
in Figs. 4 and 16. The inner knife is stationary, but the outer knife is
adjustable in order that it may accommodate slugs of different
thicknesses. This adjustment is made by the knife being seated at its
outer edge against a supporting bar or wedge, having at opposite ends
two inclined surfaces seated against supporting screws in the
knife-block. A lever engages a pin on the wedge for the purpose of
moving it endwise; when moving in one direction, it forces the knife
inward toward the stationary knife, and when moved in the other
direction, it forces it to retreat under the influence of a spring
seated in the block. The wedge is provided with a series of teeth
engaged by a spring-actuated pin or dog, whereby the wedge and the knife
are stopped in proper positions to insure the exact space required
between the two knives.

[Illustration: Fig. 15.]

The back knife, secured to the frame for trimming the base of the slug
as it is carried past by the revolving wheel, should be kept moderately
sharp and adjusted so as to fit closely against the back of the passing
mold. Particular attention should be paid to this feature. The edge of
the knife must bear uniformly across the face of the mold.

[Illustration: Fig. 16.]

The front knives, between which the slug is ejected, should not be made
too sharp. After being sharpened, the thin edge can be advantageously
removed by the use of a thin oilstone applied against the side face;
that is, against the face past which the slug is carried.

The stationary or left-hand knife should be so adjusted as to align
exactly with the inner side of the mold. Under proper conditions this
knife does not trim the side face of the slug, but acts only to remove
any slight fins or projections at the front edge.

The right-hand knife, adjustable by means of a wedge and lever, should
stand exactly parallel with the stationary knife. It trims the side of
the slug on which the ribs are formed, and it serves to bring the slug
to the exact thickness required.


[Footnote 2: From Theodore L. De Vinne's _Modern Methods of Book
Composition_, pp. 403-425. The Century Company, New York, 1904.]



_Jean Henri Fabre_

Peas are held in high esteem by mankind. From remote ages man has
endeavored, by careful culture, to produce larger, tenderer, and sweeter
varieties. Of an adaptable character, under careful treatment the plant
has evolved in a docile fashion, and has ended by giving us what the
ambition of the gardener desired. To-day we have gone far beyond the
yield of the Varrons and Columelles, and further still beyond the
original pea; from the wild seeds confided to the soil by the first man
who thought to scratch up the surface of the earth, perhaps with the
half-jaw of a cave-bear, whose powerful canine tooth would serve him as
a ploughshare!

Where is it, this original pea, in the world of spontaneous vegetation?
Our own country has nothing resembling it. Is it to be found elsewhere?
On this point botany is silent, or replies only with vague

We find the same ignorance elsewhere on the subject of the majority of
our alimentary vegetables. Whence comes wheat, the blessed grain which
gives us bread? No one knows. You will not find it here, except in the
care of man; nor will you find it abroad. In the East, the birthplace
of agriculture, no botanist has ever encountered the sacred ear growing
of itself on unbroken soil.

Barley, oats, and rye, the turnip and the beet, the beetroot, the
carrot, the pumpkin, and so many other vegetable products, leave us in
the same perplexity; their point of departure is unknown to us, or at
most suspected behind the impenetrable cloud of the centuries. Nature
delivered them to us in the full vigor of the thing untamed, when their
value as food was indifferent, as to-day she offers us the sloe, the
bullace, the blackberry, the crab; she gave them to us in the state of
imperfect sketches, for us to fill out and complete; it was for our
skill and our labor patiently to induce the nourishing pulp which was
the earliest form of capital, whose interest is always increasing in the
primordial bank of the tiller of the soil.

As storehouses of food the cereal and the vegetable are, for the greater
part, the work of man. The fundamental species, a poor resource in their
original state, we borrowed as they were from the natural treasury of
the vegetable world; the perfected race, rich in alimentary materials,
is the result of our art.

If wheat, peas, and all the rest are indispensable to us, our care, by a
just return, is absolutely necessary to them. Such as our needs have
made them, incapable of resistance in the bitter struggle for survival,
these vegetables, left to themselves without culture, would rapidly
disappear, despite the numerical abundance of their seeds, as the
foolish sheep would disappear were there no more sheep-folds.

They are our work, but not always our exclusive property. Wherever food
is amassed, the consumers collect from the four corners of the sky; they
invite themselves to the feast of abundance, and the richer the food the
greater their numbers. Man, who alone is capable of inducing agrarian
abundance, is by that very fact the giver of an immense banquet at which
legions of feasters take their place. By creating more juicy and more
generous fruits, he calls to his enclosures, despite himself, thousands
and thousands of hungry creatures, against whose appetites his
prohibitions are helpless. The more he produces, the larger is the
tribute demanded of him. Wholesale agriculture and vegetable abundance
favor our rival, the insect.

This is the immanent law. Nature, with an equal zeal, offers her mighty
breast to all her nurslings alike; to those who live by the goods of
others no less than to the producers. For us, who plough, sow, and reap,
and weary ourselves with labor, she ripens the wheat; she ripens it also
for the little Calender-beetle, which, although exempted from the labor
of the fields, enters our granaries none the less, and there, with its
pointed beak, nibbles our wheat, grain by grain, to the husk.

For us, who dig, weed, and water, bent with fatigue and burned by the
sun, she swells the pods of the pea; she swells them also for the
weevil, which does no gardener's work, yet takes its share of the
harvest at its own hour, when the earth is joyful with the new life of

Let us follow the manoeuvres of this insect which takes its tithe of the
green pea. I, a benevolent rate-payer, will allow it to take its dues;
it is precisely to benefit it that I have sown a few rows of the beloved
plant in a corner of my garden. Without other invitation on my part than
this modest expenditure of seed-peas, it arrives punctually during the
month of May. It has learned that this stony soil, rebellious at the
culture of the kitchen-gardener, is bearing peas for the first time. In
all haste therefore it has hurried, an agent of the entomological
revenue system, to demand its dues.

Whence does it come? It is impossible to say precisely. It has come from
some shelter, somewhere, in which it has passed the winter in a state of
torpor. The plane-tree, which sheds its rind during the heats of the
summer, furnishes an excellent refuge for homeless insects under its
partly detached sheets of bark.

I have often found our weevil in such a winter refuge. Sheltered under
the dead covering of the plane, or otherwise protected while the winter
lasts, it awakens from its torpor at the first touch of a kindly sun.
The almanac of the instincts has aroused it; it knows as well as the
gardener when the pea-vines are in flower, and seeks its favorite plant,
journeying thither from every side, running with quick, short steps, or
nimbly flying.

A small head, a fine snout, a costume of ashen grey sprinkled with
brown, flattened wing-covers, a dumpy, compact body, with two large
black dots on the rear segment--such is the summary portrait of my
visitor. The middle of May approaches, and with it the van of the

They settle on the flowers, which are not unlike white-winged
butterflies. I see them at the base of the blossom or inside the cavity
of the "keel" of the flower, but the majority explore the petals and
take possession of them. The time for laying the eggs has not yet
arrived. The morning is mild; the sun is warm without being oppressive.
It is the moment of nuptial flights; the time of rejoicing in the
splendor of the sunshine. Everywhere are creatures rejoicing to be
alive. Couples come together, part, and re-form. When towards noon the
heat becomes too great, the weevils retire into the shadow, taking
refuge singly in the folds of the flowers whose secret corners they know
so well. To-morrow will be another day of festival, and the next day
also, until the pods, emerging from the shelter of the "keel" of the
flower, are plainly visible, enlarging from day to day.

A few gravid females, more pressed for time than the others, confide
their eggs to the growing pod, flat and meager as it issues from its
floral sheath. These hastily laid batches of eggs, expelled perhaps by
the exigencies of an ovary incapable of further delay, seem to me in
serious danger; for the seed in which the grub must establish itself is
as yet no more than a tender speck of green, without firmness and
without any farinaceous tissue. No larva could possibly find sufficient
nourishment there, unless it waited for the pea to mature.

But is the grub capable of fasting for any length of time when once
hatched? It is doubtful. The little I have seen tells me that the
newborn grub must establish itself in the midst of its food as quickly
as possible, and that it perishes unless it can do so. I am therefore of
opinion that such eggs as are deposited in immature pods are lost.
However, the race will hardly suffer by such a loss, so fertile is the
little beetle. We shall see directly how prodigal the female is of her
eggs, the majority of which are destined to perish.

The important part of the maternal task is completed by the end of May,
when the shells are swollen by the expanding peas, which have reached
their final growth, or are but little short of it. I was anxious to see
the female Bruchus at work in her quality of Curculionid, as our
classification declares her.[4] The other weevils are Rhyncophora,
beaked insects, armed with a drill with which to prepare the hole in
which the egg is laid. The Bruchus possesses only a short snout or
muzzle, excellently adapted for eating soft tissues, but valueless as a

The method of installing the family is consequently absolutely
different. There are no industrious preparations as with the Balinidae,
the Larinidae, and the Rhynchitides. Not being equipped with a long
oviscapt, the mother sows her eggs in the open, with no protection
against the heat of the sun and the variations of temperature. Nothing
could be simpler, and nothing more perilous to the eggs, in the absence
of special characteristics which, would enable them to resist the
alternate trials of heat and cold, moisture and drought.

In the caressing sunlight of ten o'clock in the morning, the mother runs
up and down the chosen pod, first on one side, then on the other, with
a jerky, capricious, unmethodical gait. She repeatedly extrudes a short
oviduct, which oscillates right and left as though to graze the skin of
the pod. An egg follows, which is abandoned as soon as laid.

A hasty touch of the oviduct, first here, then there, on the green skin
of the pea-pod, and that is all. The egg is left there, unprotected, in
the full sunlight. No choice of position is made such as might assist
the grub when it seeks to penetrate its larder. Some eggs are laid on
the swellings created by the peas beneath; others in the barren valleys
which separate them. The first are close to the peas, the second at some
distance from them. In short, the eggs of the Bruchus are laid at
random, as though on the wing.

We observe a still more serious vice: the number of eggs is out of all
proportion to the number of peas in the pod. Let us note at the outset
that each grub requires one pea; it is the necessary ration, and is
largely sufficient for one larva, but is not enough for several, nor
even for two. One pea to each grub, neither more nor less, is the
unchangeable rule.

We should expect to find signs of a procreative economy which would
impel the female to take into account the number of peas contained in
the pod which she has just explored; we might expect her to set a
numerical limit on her eggs in conformity with that of the peas
available. But no such limit is observed. The rule of one pea to one
grub is always contradicted by the multiplicity of consumers.

My observations are unanimous on this point. The number of eggs
deposited on one pod always exceeds the number of peas available, and
often to a scandalous degree. However meager the contents of the pod,
there is a superabundance of consumers. Dividing the sum of the eggs
upon such or such a pod by that of the peas contained therein, I find
there are five to eight claimants for each pea; I have found ten, and
there is no reason why this prodigality should not go still further.
Many are called, but few are chosen! What is to become of all these
supernumeraries, perforce excluded from the banquet for want of space?

The eggs are of a fairly bright amber yellow, cylindrical in form,
smooth, and rounded at the ends. Their length is at most a twenty-fifth
of an inch. Each is affixed to the pod by means of a slight network of
threads of coagulated albumen. Neither wind nor rain can loosen their

The mother not infrequently emits them two at a time, one above the
other; not infrequently, also, the uppermost of the two eggs hatches
before the other, while the latter fades and perishes. What was lacking
to this egg, that it should fail to produce a grub? Perhaps a bath of
sunlight; the incubating heat of which the outer egg has robbed it.
Whether on account of the fact that it is shadowed by the other egg, or
for other reasons, the elder of the eggs in a group of two rarely
follows the normal course, but perishes on the pod, dead without having

There are exceptions to this premature end; sometimes the two eggs
develop equally well; but such cases are exceptional, so that the
Bruchid family would be reduced to about half its dimensions if the
binary system were the rule. To the detriment of our peas and to the
advantage of the beetle, the eggs are commonly laid one by one and in

A recent emergence is shown by a little sinuous ribbon-like mark, pale
or whitish, where the skin of the pod is raised and withered, which
starts from the egg and is the work of the newborn larva; a
sub-epidermic tunnel along which the grub works its way, while seeking a
point from which it can escape into a pea. This point once attained, the
larva, which is scarcely a twenty-fifth of an inch in length, and is
white with a black head, perforates the envelope and plunges into the
capacious hollow of the pod.

It has reached the peas and crawls upon the nearest. I have observed it
with the magnifier. Having explored the green globe, its new world, it
begins to sink a well perpendicularly into the sphere. I have often seen
it halfway in, wriggling its tail in the effort to work the quicker. In
a short time the grub disappears and is at home. The point of entry,
minute, but always easily recognizable by its brown coloration on the
pale green background of the pea, has no fixed location; it may be at
almost any point on the surface of the pea, but an exception is usually
made of the lower half; that is, the hemisphere whose pole is formed by
the supporting stem.

It is precisely in this portion that the germ is found, which will not
be eaten by the larva, and will remain capable of developing into a
plant, in spite of the large aperture made by the emergence of the adult
insect. Why is this particular portion left untouched? What are the
motives that safeguard the germ?

It goes without saying that the Bruchus is not considering the
gardener. The pea is meant for it and for no one else. In refusing the
few bites that would lead to the death of the seed, it has no intention
of limiting its destruction. It abstains from other motives.

Let us remark that the peas touch laterally, and are pressed one against
the other, so that the grub, when searching for a point of attack,
cannot circulate at will. Let us also note that the lower pole expands
into the umbilical excrescence, which is less easy of perforation than
those parts protected by the skin alone. It is even possible that the
umbilicum, whose organization differs from that of the rest of the pea,
contains a peculiar sap that is distasteful to the little grub.

Such, doubtless, is the reason why the peas exploited by the Bruchus are
still able to germinate. They are damaged, but not dead, because the
invasion was conducted from the free hemisphere, a portion less
vulnerable and more easy of access. Moreover, as the pea in its entirety
is too large for a single grub to consume, the consumption is limited to
the portion preferred by the consumer, and this portion is not the
essential portion of the pea.

With other conditions, with very much smaller or very much larger seeds,
we shall observe very different results. If too small, the germ will
perish, gnawed like the rest by the insufficiently provisioned inmate;
if too large, the abundance of food will permit of several inmates.
Exploited in the absence of the pea, the cultivated vetch and the broad
bean afford us an excellent example; the smaller seed, of which all but
the skin is devoured, is left incapable of germination; but the large
bean, even though it may have held a number of grubs, is still capable
of sprouting.

Knowing that the pod always exhibits a number of eggs greatly in excess
of the enclosed peas, and that each pea is the exclusive property of one
grub, we naturally ask what becomes of the superfluous grubs. Do they
perish outside when the more precocious have one by one taken their
places in their vegetable larder? or do they succumb to the intolerant
teeth of the first occupants? Neither explanation is correct. Let us
relate the facts.

On all old peas--they are at this stage dry--from which the adult
Bruchus has emerged, leaving a large round hole of exit, the
magnifying-glass will show a variable number of fine reddish
punctuations, perforated in the centre. What are these spots, of which I
count five, six, and even more on a single pea? It is impossible to be
mistaken: they are the points of entry of as many grubs. Several grubs
have entered the pea, but of the whole group only one has survived,
fattened, and attained the adult age. And the others? We shall see.

At the end of May, and in June, the period of egg-laying, let us inspect
the still green and tender peas. Nearly all the peas invaded show us the
multiple perforations already observed on the dry peas abandoned by the
weevils. Does this actually mean that there are several grubs in the
pea? Yes. Skin the peas in question, separate the cotyledons, and break
them up as may be necessary. We shall discover several grubs, extremely
youthful, curled up comma-wise, fat and lively, each in a little round
niche in the body of the pea.

Peace and welfare seem to reign in the little community. There is no
quarrelling, no jealousy between neighbors. The feast has commenced;
food is abundant, and the feasters are separated one from another by the
walls of uneaten substance. With this isolation in separate cells no
conflicts need be feared; no sudden bite of the mandibles, whether
intentional or accidental. All the occupants enjoy the same rights of
property, the same appetite, and the same strength. How does this
communal feast terminate?

Having first opened them, I place a number of peas which are found to be
well peopled in a glass test-tube. I open others daily. In this way I
keep myself informed as to the progress of the various larvae. At first
nothing noteworthy is to be seen. Isolated in its narrow chamber, each
grub nibbles the substance around it, peacefully and parsimoniously. It
is still very small; a mere speck of food is a feast; but the contents
of one pea will not suffice the whole number to the end. Famine is
ahead, and all but one must perish.

Soon, indeed, the aspect of things is entirely changed. One of the
grubs--that which occupies the central position in the pea--begins to
grow more quickly than the others. Scarcely has it surpassed the others
in size when the latter cease to eat, and no longer attempt to burrow
forwards. They lie motionless and resigned; they die that gentle death
which comes to unconscious lives. Henceforth the entire pea belongs to
the sole survivor. Now what has happened that these lives around the
privileged one should be thus annihilated? In default of a satisfactory
reply, I will propose a suggestion.

In the centre of the pea, less ripened than the rest of the seed by the
chemistry of the sun, may there not be a softer pulp, of a quality
better adapted to the infantile digestion of the grub? There, perhaps,
being nourished by tenderer, sweeter, and perhaps, more tasty tissues,
the stomach becomes more vigorous, until it is fit to undertake less
easily digested food. A nursling is fed on milk before proceeding to
bread and broth. May not the central portion of the pea be the
feeding-bottle of the Bruchid?

With equal rights, fired by an equal ambition, all the occupants of the
pea bore their way towards the delicious morsel. The journey is
laborious, and the grubs must rest frequently in their provisional
niches. They rest; while resting they frugally gnaw the riper tissues
surrounding them; they gnaw rather to open a way than to fill their

Finally one of the excavators, favored by the direction taken, attains
the central portion. It establishes itself there, and all is over; the
others have only to die. How are they warned that the place is taken? Do
they hear their brother gnawing at the walls of his lodging? can they
feel the vibration set up by his nibbling mandibles? Something of the
kind must happen, for from that moment they make no attempt to burrow
further. Without struggling against the fortunate winner, without
seeking to dislodge him, those which are beaten in the race give
themselves up to death. I admire this candid resignation on the part of
the departed.

Another condition--that of space--is also present as a factor. The pea
weevil is the largest of our Bruchidae. When it attains the adult
stage, it requires a certain amplitude of lodging, which the other
weevils do not require in the same degree. A pea provides it with a
sufficiently spacious cell; nevertheless, the cohabitation of two in one
pea would be impossible; there would be no room, even were the two to
put up with a certain discomfort. Hence the necessity of an inevitable
decimation, which will suppress all the competitors save one.

Now the superior volume of the broad bean, which is almost as much
beloved by the weevil as the pea, can lodge a considerable community,
and the solitary can live as a cenobite. Without encroaching on the
domain of their neighbors, five or six or more can find room in the one

Moreover, each grub can find its infant diet; that is, that layer which,
remote from the surface, hardens only gradually and remains full of sap
until a comparatively late period. This inner layer represents the crumb
of a loaf, the rest of the bean being the crust.

In a pea, a sphere of much less capacity, it occupies the central
portion; a limited point at which the grub develops, and lacking which
it perishes; but in the bean it lines the wide adjoining faces of the
two flattened cotyledons. No matter where the point of attack is made,
the grub has only to bore straight down when it quickly reaches the
softer tissues. What is the result? I have counted the eggs adhering to
a bean-pod and the beans included in the pod, and comparing the two
figures I find that there is plenty of room for the whole family at the
rate of five or six dwellers in each bean. No superfluous larvae perish
of hunger when barely issued from the egg; all have their share of the
ample provision; all live and prosper. The abundance of food balances
the prodigal fertility of the mother.

If the Bruchus were always to adopt the broad bean for the establishment
of her family, I could well understand the exuberant allowance of eggs
to one pod; a rich foodstuff easily obtained evokes a large batch of
eggs. But the case of the pea perplexes me. By what aberration does the
mother abandon her children to starvation on this totally insufficient
vegetable? Why so many grubs to each pea when one pea is sufficient only
for one grub?

Matters are not so arranged in the general balance-sheet of life. A
certain foresight seems to rule over the ovary so that the number of
mouths is in proportion to the abundance or scarcity of the food
consumed. The Scarabaeus, the Sphex, the Necrophorus, and other insects
which prepare and preserve alimentary provision for their families, are
all of a narrowly limited fertility, because the balls of dung, the dead
or paralyzed insects, or the buried corpses of animals on which their
offspring are nourished are provided only at the cost of laborious

The ordinary bluebottle, on the contrary, which lays her eggs upon
butcher's meat or carrion, lays them in enormous batches. Trusting in
the inexhaustible riches represented by the corpse, she is prodigal of
offspring, and takes no account of numbers. In other cases the provision
is acquired by audacious brigandage, which exposes the newly born
offspring to a thousand mortal accidents. In such cases the mother
balances the chances of destruction by an exaggerated flux of eggs.
Such is the case with the Meloides, which, stealing the goods of others
under conditions of the greatest peril, are accordingly endowed with a
prodigious fertility.

The Bruchus knows neither the fatigues of the laborious, obliged to
limit the size of her family, nor the misfortunes of the parasite,
obliged to produce an exaggerated number of offspring. Without painful
search, entirely at her ease, merely moving in the sunshine over her
favorite plant, she can insure a sufficient provision for each of her
offspring; she can do so, yet is foolish enough to over-populate the pod
of the pea; a nursery insufficiently provided, in which the great
majority will perish of starvation. This ineptitude is a thing I cannot
understand; it clashes too completely with the habitual foresight of the
maternal instinct.

I am inclined to believe that the pea is not the original food plant of
the Bruchus. The original plant must rather have been the bean, one seed
of which is capable of supporting a dozen or more larvae. With the
larger cotyledon the crying disproportion between the number of eggs and
the available provision disappears.

Moreover, it is indubitable that the bean is of earlier date than the
pea. Its exceptional size and its agreeable flavor would certainly have
attracted the attention of man from the remotest periods. The bean is a
ready-made mouthful, and would be of the greatest value to the hungry
tribe. Primitive man would at an early date have sown it beside his
wattled hut. Coming from Central Asia by long stages, their wagons drawn
by shaggy oxen and rolling on the circular discs cut from the trunks of
trees, the early immigrants would have brought to our virgin land, first
the bean, then the pea, and finally the cereal, that best of safeguards
against famine. They taught us the care of herds, and the use of bronze,
the material of the first metal implement. Thus the dawn of civilization
arose over France. With the bean did those ancient teachers also
involuntarily bring us the insect which to-day disputes it with us? It
is doubtful; the Bruchidae seem to be indigenous. At all events, I find
them levying tribute from various indigenous plants, wild vegetables
which have never tempted the appetite of man. They abound in particular
upon the great forest vetch (_Lathyrus latifolius_), with its
magnificent heads of flowers and long handsome pods. The seeds are not
large, being indeed smaller than the garden pea; but, eaten to the very
skin, as they invariably are, each is sufficient to the needs of its

We must not fail to note their number. I have counted more than twenty
in a single pod, a number unknown in the case of the pea, even in the
most prolific varieties. Consequently this superb vetch is in general
able to nourish without much loss the family confided to its pod.

Where the forest vetch is lacking, the Bruchus, none the less, bestows
its habitual prodigality of eggs upon another vegetable of similar
flavor, but incapable of nourishing all the grubs: for example, the
travelling vetch (_Vicia peregrina_) or the cultivated vetch (_Vicia
saliva_). The number of eggs remains high even upon insufficient pods,
because the original food-plant offered a copious provision, both in the
multiplicity and the size of the seeds. If the Bruchus is really a
stranger, let us regard the bean as the original food-plant; if
indigenous, the large vetch.

Sometime in the remote past we received the pea, growing it at first in
the prehistoric vegetable garden which already supplied the bean. It was
found a better article of diet than the broad bean, which to-day, after
such good service, is comparatively neglected. The weevil was of the
same opinion as man, and without entirely forgetting the bean and the
vetch it established the greater part of its tribe upon the pea, which
from century to century was more widely cultivated. To-day we have to
share our peas; the Bruchidae take what they need, and bestow their
leavings on us.

This prosperity of the insect which is the offspring of the abundance
and equality of our garden products is from another point of view
equivalent to decadence. For the weevil, as for ourselves, progress in
matters of food and drink is not always beneficial. The race would
profit better if it remained frugal. On the bean and the vetch the
Bruchus founded colonies in which the infant mortality was low. There
was room for all. On the pea-vine, delicious though its fruits may be,
the greater part of its offspring die of starvation. The rations are
few, and the hungry mouths are multitudinous.

We will linger over this problem no longer. Let us observe the grub
which has now become the sole tenant of the pea by the death of its
brothers. It has had no part in their death; chance has favored it, that
is all. In the centre of the pea, a wealthy solitude, it performs the
duty of a grub, the sole duty of eating. It nibbles the walls enclosing
it, enlarging its lodgment, which is always entirely filled by its
corpulent body. It is well shaped, fat, and shining with health. If I
disturb it, it turns gently in its niche and sways its head. This is its
manner of complaining of my importunities. Let us leave it in peace.

It profits so greatly and so swiftly by its position that by the time
the dog-days have come it is already preparing for its approaching
liberation. The adult is not sufficiently well equipped to open for
itself a way out through the pea, which is now completely hardened. The
larva knows of this future helplessness, and with consummate art
provides for its release. With its powerful mandibles it bores a channel
of exit, exactly round, with extremely clean-cut sides. The most skilful
ivory-carver could do no better.

To prepare the door of exit in advance is not enough; the grub must also
provide for the tranquillity essential to the delicate processes of
nymphosis. An intruder might enter by the open door and injure the
helpless nymph. This passage must therefore remain closed. But how?

As the grub bores the passage of exit, it consumes the farinaceous
matter without leaving a crumb. Having come to the skin of the pea, it
stops short. This membrane, semi-translucid, is the door to the chamber
of metamorphosis, its protection against the evil intentions of external

It is also the only obstacle which the adult will encounter at the
moment of exit. To lessen the difficulty of opening it, the grub takes
the precaution of gnawing at the inner side of the skin, all round the
circumference, so as to make a line of least resistance. The perfect
insect will only have to heave with its shoulder and strike a few blows
with its head in order to raise the circular door and knock it off like
the lid of a box. The passage of exit shows through the diaphanous skin
of the pea as a large circular spot, which is darkened by the obscurity
of the interior. What passes behind it is invisible, hidden as, it is
behind a sort of ground-glass window.

A pretty invention, this little closed porthole, this barricade against
the invader, this trap-door raised by a push when the time has come for
the hermit to enter the world. Shall we credit it to the Bruchus? Did
the ingenious insect conceive the undertaking? Did it think out a plan
and work out a scheme of its own devising? This would be no small
triumph for the brain of a weevil. Before coming to a conclusion, let us
try an experiment.

I deprive certain occupied peas of their skin, and I dry them with
abnormal rapidity, placing them in glass test-tubes. The grubs prosper
as well as in the intact peas. At the proper time the preparations for
emergence are made.

If the grub acts on its own inspiration, if it ceases to prolong its
boring directly it recognizes that the outer coating, auscultated from
time to time, is sufficiently thin, what will it do under the conditions
of the present test? Feeling itself at the requisite distance from the
surface, it will stop boring; it will respect the outer layer of the
bare pea, and will thus obtain the indispensable protecting screen.

Nothing of the kind occurs. In every case the passage is completely
excavated; the entrance gapes wide open, as large and as carefully
executed as though the skin of the pea were in its place. Reasons of
security have failed to modify the usual method of work. This open
lodging has no defence against the enemy; but the grub exhibits no
anxiety on this score.

Neither is it thinking of the outer enemy when it bores down to the skin
when the pea is intact, and then stops short. It suddenly stops because
the innutritious skin is not to its taste. We ourselves remove the
parchment-like skins from a mess of pease-pudding, as from a culinary
point of view they are so much waste matter. The larva of the Bruchus,
like ourselves, dislikes the skin of the pea. It stops short at the
horny covering, simply because it is checked by an uneatable substance.
From this aversion a little miracle arises; but the insect has no sense
of logic; it is passively obedient to the superior logic of facts. It
obeys its instinct, as unconscious of its act as is a crystal when it
assembles, in exquisite order, its battalions of atoms.

Sooner or later during the month of August we see a shadowy circle form
on each inhabited pea; but only one on each seed. These circles of
shadow mark the doors of exit. Most of them open in September. The lid,
as though cut out with a punch, detaches itself cleanly and falls to the
ground, leaving the orifice free. The Bruchus emerges, freshly clad, in
its final form.

The weather is delightful. Flowers are abundant, awakened by the summer
showers; and the weevils visit them in the lovely autumn weather. Then,
when the cold sets in, they take up their winter quarters in any
suitable retreat. Others, still numerous, are less hasty in quitting
the native seed. They remain within during the whole winter, sheltered
behind the trap-door, which they take care not to touch. The door of the
cell will not open on its hinges, or, to be exact, will not yield along
the line of least resistance, until the warm days return. Then the late
arrivals will leave their shelter and rejoin the more impatient, and
both will be ready for work when the pea-vines are in flower.

To take a general view of the instincts in their inexhaustible variety
is, for the observer, the great attraction of the entomological world,
for nowhere do we gain a clearer sight of the wonderful way in which the
processes of life are ordered. Thus regarded, entomology is not, I know,
to the taste of everybody; the simple creature absorbed in the doings
and habits of insects is held in low esteem. To the terrible
utilitarian, a bushel of peas preserved from the weevil is of more
importance than a volume of observations which bring no immediate

Yet who has told you, O man of little faith, that what is useless to-day
will not be useful to-morrow? If we learn the customs of insects or
animals, we shall understand better how to protect our goods. Do not
despise disinterested knowledge, or you may rue the day. It is by the
accumulation of ideas, whether immediately applicable or otherwise, that
humanity has done, and will continue to do, better to-day than
yesterday, and better to-morrow than to-day. If we live on peas and
beans, which we dispute with the weevil, we also live by knowledge, that
mighty kneading-trough in which the bread of progress is mixed and
leavened. Knowledge is well worth a few beans.

Among other things, knowledge tells us: "The seedsman need not go to the
expense of waging war upon the weevil. When the peas arrive in the
granary, the harm is already done; it is irreparable, but not
transmissible. The untouched peas have nothing to fear from the
neighborhood of those which have been attacked, however long the mixture
is left. From the latter the weevils will issue when their time has
come; they will fly away from the storehouse if escape is possible; if
not, they will perish without in any way attacking the sound peas. No
eggs, no new generation will ever be seen upon or within the dried peas
in the storehouse; there the adult weevil can work no further mischief."

The Bruchus is not a sedentary inhabitant of granaries: it requires the
open air, the sun, the liberty of the fields. Frugal in everything, it
absolutely disdains the hard tissues of the vegetable; its tiny mouth is
content with a few honeyed mouthfuls, enjoyed upon the flowers. The
larvae, on the other hand, require the tender tissues of the green pea
growing in the pod. For these reasons the granary knows no final
multiplication on the part of the despoiler.

The origin of the evil is in the kitchen-garden. It is there that we
ought to keep a watch on the misdeeds of the Bruchus, were it not for
the fact that we are nearly always weaponless when it comes to fighting
an insect. Indestructible by reason of its numbers, its small size, and
its cunning, the little creature laughs at the anger of man. The
gardener curses it, but the weevil is not disturbed; it imperturbably
continues its trade of levying tribute. Happily we have assistants more
patient and more clear-sighted than ourselves.

During the first week of August, when the mature Bruchus begins to
emerge, I notice a little Chalcidian, the protector of our peas. In my
rearing-cages it issues under my eyes in abundance from the peas
infested by the grub of the weevil. The female has a reddish head and
thorax; the abdomen is black, with a long augur-like oviscapt. The male,
a little smaller, is black. Both sexes have reddish claws and
thread-like antennae.

In order to escape from the pea, the slayer of the weevil makes an
opening in the centre of the circular trap-door which the grub of the
weevil prepared in view of its future deliverance. The slain has
prepared the way for the slayer. After this detail the rest may be

When the preliminaries to the metamorphosis are completed, when the
passage of escape is bored and furnished with its lid of superficial
membrane, the female Chalcidian arrives in a busy mood. She inspects the
peas, still on the vine, and enclosed in their pods; she auscultates
them with her antennae; she discovers, hidden under the general
envelope, the weak points in the epidermic covering of the peas. Then,
applying her oviscapt, she thrusts it through the side of the pod and
perforates the circular trap-door. However far withdrawn into the centre
of the pea, the Bruchus, whether larvae or nymph, is reached by the long
oviduct. It receives an egg in its tender flesh, and the thing is done.
Without possibility of defence, since it is by now a somnolent grub or a
helpless pupa, the embryo weevil is eaten until nothing but skin
remains. What a pity that we cannot at will assist the multiplication of
this eager exterminator! Alas! our assistants have got us in a vicious
circle, for if we wished to obtain the help of any great number of
Chalcidians we should be obliged in the first place to breed a
multiplicity of Bruchidae.


[Footnote 3: From _Social Life in the Insect World_, translated by
Bernard Miall, Chapter XVIII. The Century Company, New York, 1913.]

[Footnote 4: This classification is now superseded; the Pea and Bee
Weevils--_Bruchus pisi_ and _Bruchus lenti_--are classed as Bruchidae,
in the series of Phytophaga. Most of the other weevils are classed as
Curculionidae, series Rhyncophora.--(Trans.)]



_J.W. Butler Paper Company_

Though the steady march of progress and invention has given to the
modern paper-maker marvelous machines by which the output is increased a
thousandfold over that of the old, slow methods, he still has many of
the same difficulties to overcome that confronted his predecessor. While
the use of wood pulp has greatly changed the conditions as regards the
cheaper grades of this staple, the ragman is to-day almost as important
to the manufacturer of the higher grades as he was one hundred years ago
when the saving of rags was inculcated as a domestic virtue and a
patriotic duty. Methods have changed, but the material remains the same.
In a complete modern mill making writing and other high-grade papers,
the process begins with unsightly rags as the material from which to
form the white sheets that are to receive upon their spotless polished
surface the thoughts of philosophers and statesmen, the tender messages
of affection, the counsels and admonitions of ministers, the decisions
of grave and learned judges, and all the

    Wisdom of things, mysterious, divine, that
    Illustriously doth on paper shine,

as was duly set forth in rhyme by the _Boston News Letter_ in 1769.
"The bell cart will go through Boston about the end of next month," it
announced, and appealed to the inhabitants of that modern seat of
learning and philosophy to save their rags for the occasion, and thus
encourage the industry.

The rags do not come to the mammoth factories of to-day in bell carts,
but by the carload in huge bales gathered from all sections of this
great Republic, as well as from lands beyond the eastern and western
oceans. The square, compact, steam-compressed bundles are carried by
elevators well up toward the top of the building, where they await the
knife of the "opener." When they have been opened, the "feeder" throws
the contents by armfuls into the "thrasher." The novice or layman,
ignorant of the state in which rags come to the mill, will find their
condition a most unpleasant surprise, especially disagreeable to his
olfactory nerves. Yet the unsavory revelation comes with more force a
little farther on, in the "assorting-room." The "thrasher" is a great
cylindrical receptacle, revolving rapidly, which is supplied with long
wooden beaters or arms passing through a wooden cylinder and driven by
power. When the rags have been tossed in, there ensues a great pounding
and thrashing, and the dust is carried off in suction air-tubes, while
the whipped rags are discharged and carried to the "sorting" and
"shredding" room. Here the rags are assorted as to size, condition, and
the presence of buttons, hooks and eyes, or other material that must be
removed. Then those that need further attention are passed on to the
"shredders," these as well as the "sorters" being women. The
"shredders" stand along a narrow counter; in front of each one there is
fastened a long scythe-blade with its back toward the operator and its
point extending upward, the shank being firmly fixed to the table or
operating board. Here buttons, hard seams, and all similar intruders are
disposed of, and the larger pieces of rags are cut into numerous small
ones on the scythe-blades. The rags thus prepared are tossed by the
women into receptacles in the tables. The work in this room is the most
disagreeable and unwholesome in the entire process of manufacture, and
this despite the fact that these rags, too, have been thrashed, and
freed from an amount of dust and dirt beyond belief.

While one is watching the operations carried on here, it is impossible
to repress the wish that rags might be bought otherwise than by the
pound, for, unfortunately, filth, dust, and dirt weigh, and to wash rags
only reduces the weight. While this is a true reflection of the
condition in the average mill, it is pleasant to know, however, there
are others of the higher class that are decided exceptions as far as
dust and dirt are concerned. Such are the mills making high-grade ledger
and bond papers, as well as the mill manufacturing the paper that is
used for the printing of our "greenbacks," to which further reference
will be made later. In these exceptional mills everything is neat and
perfectly clean, all the stock used being new and fresh from the cotton
or linen mills, or from factories producing cloth goods, like shirt and
corset factories, and others of the same sort. The sorting and shredding
room is always large and light, with windows on all sides, and well
ventilated, offering a decided contrast in many respects to the less
cleanly mills first referred to where the women must wear bonnets or
hoods for the protection of the hair. In either case the process is
certainly an improvement over the old plan of leaving the rags to decay
in a cellar to expedite the removal of the glutinous matter from them.

From the "sorting" and "shredding" room the rags are conveyed to the
"cutter," where they are cut and chopped by revolving knives, leaving
them in small pieces and much freer from dust and grit. Various
ingenious devices are employed for removing metal and other hard and
injurious matter, magnetic brushes serving this purpose in some mills.
When the "cutter" has finished its work, the still very dirty rags go
for a further cleansing to the "devil," or "whipper," a hollow cone with
spikes projecting within, against which work the spikes of a drum,
dashing the rags about at great speed. Human lives are often freed of
their baser elements and restored to purity and beauty through the
chastening influences of tribulation or adversity; in like manner the
"whipper" carries the rags forward a step in the process of purification
that is necessary before they can be brought to their highest
usefulness. But the cleansing process, which is only a preparation for
what is to follow, does not end with the "whipper," which has served
merely to loosen, not to dislodge, a great deal of dust and dirt. The
final operation in the preliminary cleaning is performed by the "duster"
proper, which is a conical revolving sieve. As the mass of rags is
tossed and shaken about, the loosened dust is carried away by the
suction of the air, which draws the dust particles into tubes furnished
with suction fans. In most modern mills the rags are carried forward
from the "duster" on an endless belt, and a careful watch is kept upon
them as they emerge to detect the presence of unchopped pieces, buttons,
or other foreign substances. The journey of the rags over this endless
belt or conveyor terminates in a receiving-room, in the floor of which
there are several openings, and immediately below these the mouths of
the "digesters," which are in a room beneath. The "digesters," as they
are suggestively and appropriately termed, are huge revolving boilers,
usually upright, which often have as great a diameter as eight feet,
with a height of twenty-two feet and a digestive capacity of upward of
five tons of rags each. The rags that are to be "cooked" are fed in to
the "digesters" through the openings in the floor, and the great movable
manhole plates are then put in place and closed, hermetically sealing
the openings or mouths through which the boilers have been fed, these
having first been charged with a mixed solution of lime and soda and
with live hot steam in lieu of gastric juice as a digesting fluid and
force. In some mills the boilers are placed in a horizontal position,
while in others they are in the form of a large ball or globe, in either
case being operated in the manner described; those of upright form,
however, are most commonly in use. The rags are boiled under steam
pressure of about forty pounds to the square inch, and the cooking is
continued from twelve to fourteen hours.

It is here that the process of cleaning begins in earnest; and as the
mass of rags is tumbled about in its scalding bath of steam-heated
lime-water, or "milk of lime," the coloring and glutinous matters, as
well as all other impurities, are loosened from the fibers, which are in
the end so cleansed and purified as to come forth unstained and of
virgin purity. Having been sufficiently boiled and digested, the mushy
material, still looking dark and forbidding, is emptied onto the floor
below or into receptacles placed directly beneath the boilers, where the
color and dirt are allowed to drain off. The mass is then conveyed to
the "washers," great tub-like receptacles, which are known as
"Hollanders," from the fact that these rag engines were invented in
Holland about the year 1750 A.D. They are oval-shaped tubs, about twenty
feet long, nine feet wide, and three feet high, varying somewhat
according to the conditions. Each tub is divided for two-thirds of its
length by an upright partition, or "mid-feather," as it is called, which
makes a narrow course around the vat. On one side of the partition, the
tub is raised in a half-circle, close to which revolves an iron roll
about three or four feet in diameter, and covered with knives; in the
bottom of the tub, and directly under the revolving roll, is another set
of knives called a "bed-plate," which is stationary, and against which
the roll can be lowered. But let us not anticipate. When the emptyings
from the boiler have been thrown into the "washer," a continuous stream
of water is turned in at one end, the knife-roll having been adjusted so
as to open up the rags as they are set in motion. These then begin a
lively chase around the edge of the vat, through the race-course formed
by the "mid-feather," and under the rag-opening knives, where the water
is given a chance to wash out all impurities, then on up the incline
over the "back-fall," so-called from the elevation in the tub. A
cylinder of wire-cloth, partly immersed in the moving mass, holds back
the now rapidly whitening fibers, while the dirty water escapes into
buckets inside the wire-cloth drum, and is discharged into and through
an escape-spout. The heavy particles of dirt settle into what is termed
a "sand-trap" at the bottom of the tub.

As the water clears, the roll is lowered closer and closer to the bottom
of the bed-plate, in order to open up the fibers more thoroughly for the
free circulation of the water among them. When the several agencies of
the "washer" have accomplished their purpose and the water runs clear
and unsullied, a bleaching material is put into the mass, which in the
course of from two to six hours becomes as white as milk. The dirty
offscourings of all ragdom, first seen in the original bales, and
gathered from the four corners of the globe, have endured many
buffetings, many bruisings and tribulations, and having been washed come
forth pure, sweet, and clean. From the washers the rags are precipitated
through a trap into drainers, which are chambers made of stone and
brick, with a false bottom through which the water is allowed to drain.
This rag pulp, now called half stock, is kept in this receptacle until
the water and liquor are thoroughly drained off, when it becomes a white
and compact mass of fibers.

The rags should stand in the drainers for at least one week, though
better results are obtained if they are left for a period two or three
times as long, as the fibers become more subdued. The process of
paper-making as it has already been described, applies more
particularly to papers made from rags. To-day, a very large proportion
of the cheaper papers are made from wood, either entirely or in part,
and these wood-made papers are subjected to a different treatment, to
which further reference will be made.

From the drainer the mass is carted to the beating engine, or "beater,"
which is very similar in construction to the washer just described. The
knives on the roll in the beater are grouped three together instead of
two, and are placed nearer the bottom or bed-plate in order to separate
more thoroughly the fibers. In the beater are performed many and varying
manipulations, designed not only to secure a more perfect product but
also to produce different varieties of paper. It is the theory of the
beating process that the fibers are not cut, but are drawn out to their
utmost extent. In watching the operations of the "beater," one notices
on the surface of the slowly revolving mass of fibers, floating bluing,
such as the thrifty housewife uses to whiten fine fabrics. This familiar
agency of the laundry is introduced into the solution of fibers with the
same end in view that is sought in the washtub--to give the clear white
color that is so desirable. Many of the inventions and discoveries by
which the world has profited largely have been due primarily to some
fortunate accident, and according to a pretty story upon which
paper-makers have set the seal of their belief for more than one hundred
and fifty years, the use of bluing was brought about in the same way.
About the year 1746, so runs the story, a Mrs. Buttonshaw, the wife of
an English paper-maker, accidentally dropped into a tub of pulp the bag
of bluing, or its contents, which she was about to use in a washing of
fine linen. Frightened at what she had done and considering it the part
of wisdom to keep silence, she discreetly held her peace and awaited
results. But when her husband had expressed great wonder and admiration
over the paper made from that particular pulp, and had sold it in London
at an advance of several shillings over the price of his other paper,
which had not met with any such accident, she realized that the time for
silence had passed. Her account of the happy accident led her grateful
husband to purchase a costly scarlet cloak for her on his next visit to
London town. This accident brought about another result which was to
prove of inestimable value to the future paper-maker--the use of bluing
in paper when especial whiteness is desired.

Important as the bluing or coloring is, however, it is only one of the
numerous operations or manipulations that take place in the beater. Many
of these, such as engine-sizing and body-coloring, require skill and
constant watchfulness. Here, too, if anywhere, adulteration takes place.
It is sometimes necessary to secure a fine-appearing paper at small
cost, and it is profitable to add to its weight. In such cases a process
of "loading" takes place here, and clay or cheap, heavy fibers are
added. Clay is of value not only to increase the weight but also to
render the paper more opaque, so as to prevent type or illustrations
from showing through, while at the same time it makes possible a
smoother surface by filling the pores in the paper. But while it adds to
the weight, clay must, of necessity, weaken the paper. In engine-sizing,
which is done in the beater, the size is thoroughly incorporated with
the fibers as these revolve or flow around the engine. This sizing
renders the paper more nearly impervious to moisture. The difference
between a paper that is sized and that has a repellent surface which
prevents the ink from settling into it when it is written upon, and an
ordinary blotting-paper with its absorbent surface, is due entirely to
the fact that the former is most carefully treated with sizing both in
the beating engine and in the size tub or vat referred to later, whereas
in the latter paper it is omitted. If the paper is to be tinted or
body-colored, colors made from aniline are generally used. Only in the
highest grade of writing-paper and in some few papers that demand colors
fast to the light is any other order of coloring matter employed. As may
be easily imagined, considerable skill is required to secure exactly the
desired tint, and to get the coloring matter so evenly mixed that each
small fiber shall receive its proper tint, and thus to insure that the
paper when finished shall be of uniform color and not present a mottled

When the operations of the beating engine have been completed, a most
interesting process begins which marks a vast advance over the earlier
method of forming the sheets of paper with mould and deckel, straining
off the water, and shaking the frame with a quick motion to mat the
fibers together. The patient striving toward something better which has
marked all the centuries since man first learned to carve his rude
records, finds its consummation in the process of making paper in a
continuous web. This result is accomplished by a machine first invented
by Louis Robert, a workman in a mill at Enonnes, France, who obtained a
French patent, with a bounty of eight thousand francs for its
development. This he later sold to M. Didot, the proprietor of the mill,
who crossed the Channel into England, where, with the aid of a skilled
mechanic, the machine was in a measure perfected, and then sold to Henry
and Sealy Fourdrinier. They, with the further aid of Bryan Donkin, their
employee and expert engineer, made many additional improvements, and
sank in the enterprise some sixty thousand pounds sterling, for which
their only reward was blighted hopes and embittered lives. In 1847 the
London _Times_ made a fruitless appeal on behalf of the surviving
brother, who was eighty years of age and in great poverty. It is seldom
that the world voluntarily makes return to those who have bestowed upon
it great material or moral benefits, though it is ever ready to expend
its treasure for engines of destruction and to magnify and reward those
who have been most successful in destroying human life.

The first "machine" mill was started at Frogmore, Hertz, England, in
1803, which was the year of the great Louisiana Purchase by the United
States, and it is not difficult to say which event has been productive
of the greater and more beneficial results to this nation. Through this
invention and its improvements, the modern newspaper and magazine, with
their tens and hundreds of thousands of copies daily, have been made
possible, and men of all classes have been brought in touch with the
best thought of the day. Whatever makes for greater intelligence and
enlightenment throughout a nation makes for the greater stability of
the national life, and gives new emphasis to Bulwer's words:

    Take away the sword; States can be saved without it--bring the pen.

If to-day the power of the pen over the sword is greater than it has
ever been before, its increased and increasing influence must be
credited in large measure to the inventive genius and the
public-spirited enterprise that has made possible the great output of
our modern paper-mills. So thoroughly did these forces do their work in
the beginning that in the century that has elapsed since the Fourdrinier
brothers sacrificed themselves and their means in the perfecting of
their machine, there have been really no changes in the fundamental
principle. Those that have been made have been in the nature of further
development and improvement, such as increasing the speed and widening
the web, thereby multiplying the product many fold.

But let us resume the interesting journey of the rags, which had reached
a state of purification and perfection as pulp, and which we left in the
beaters. In some grades of paper the perfected and prepared pulp is
taken from the beaters and passed through what is known as a "refining"
or "Jordan" engine for the purpose of more thoroughly separating the
fibers and reducing them to extreme fineness. The refining engines are,
however, used only in the manufacture of certain grades of paper. The
pulp is next taken from the beater or refining engine, as the case may
be, to what is called a "stuff-chest," an inclosed vat partly filled
with water, in which a contrivance for shaking and shifting, properly
called an "agitator," keeps the fibers in suspension.

From the stuff-chest the mixture is pumped into what is known as the
"mixing" or "regulating" box. Here the stream first passes over the
"sand-tables" in a continuous flow. These are composed of little troughs
with cross-pieces, and are covered at the bottom with long-haired felt,
to catch any sand or dirt that may still adhere after the numerous
operations to which the pulp has been subjected. The flow is then forced
through the "screen," which is a horizontal piece of metal pierced with
slots. For very fine paper these slots are so small as to be only one
one-hundredth of an inch in width. They are usually about a quarter of
an inch apart. Through these tiny apertures the fibers must find their
way, leaving behind in their difficult passage all lumps, dirt, or
knotted fibers which would mar the perfection of the product toward
which they are tending. A vibrating motion is given to the screen as the
flow passes over it, or revolving strainers may be used.

When the screen has finished its work, the water carrying the pulp in
solution flows in an even stream, the volume of which varies according
to the width of the web of paper to be produced, through a
discharge-cock onto the Fourdrinier or cylinder machine, as the case may
be, each of which will be duly described. This stream has a filmy
appearance and is of diverse color, depending upon the shade of paper to
be produced. From its consistency, which is about that of milk, it is
difficult to imagine that it floats separate particles of fiber in such
quantities as, when gathered on the wire cloth and passed to a felt
blanket and then pressed between rollers, to form in a second of time a
broad web of embryo paper sufficiently strong and firm to take definite
form. Man's mastery of the process by which this startling and wonderful
change is effected has come as one of the rewards of his long and
patient study.

The Fourdrinier machine, which preserves at least the name of the
enterprising developers of the invention, takes up the work that was
formerly done by the molder. The wire cloth upon which the fibers are
discharged is an endless belt, the full width of the paper machine. Upon
this the fibers spread out evenly, being aided by a fan-shaped rubber or
oil cloth, which delivers the smooth stream under a gate regulated to
insure perfect evenness and to fix uniformly the fibers of the web now
commencing its final formation. Deckel-straps of india-rubber are
fastened on both sides of the wire screen, and move with it, thus
holding the watery pulp in place. The deckel-straps are adjustable and
fix or regulate the width of the paper. These and the gate, or "slicer,"
are attached to what is termed the deckel-frame, which corresponds to
the deckel used by paper-makers in the days when the manufacture was
carried on by hand. As the stream flows onto the endless belt of wire
cloth, the water which has borne the fibers filters into the trough
beneath. Being charged with very fine fibers, size, coloring matter, and
other similar ingredients, it is carried back into the pulp-chest to
save these materials, as well as to contribute again to the extra supply
of water needed. For this reason the trough into which it falls from the
revolving "wire" is called the "save-all." A shaking motion is imparted
to the "wire" from the frame upon which rest the rolls that keep it in
its never-ending round. This aids in draining away the water and mats or
interlaces the fibers together. At the end of the "save-all," where the
fibers are to leave the "wire" for the next stage of their journey,
suction-boxes are placed, provided with an air-pump to take up the
surplus water that has not yet found its way through the meshes. Between
these suction-boxes above the wire is a wire-covered roll which
impresses the newly formed sheet; this impression cylinder is called a
"dandy roll," and it is from this that the web receives the markings or
impressions that characterize different papers. All watermarks,
patterns, and designs which it is desired to have appear in the paper
are put upon this roll and here impressed upon the soft sheet, which is
clarified and left transparent at the point of contact. Thus the
impression is permanently fixed in the fiber, so that it can be seen at
any time by holding the sheet to the light. The power of suggestiveness
is a quality which is highly esteemed wherever it is found, and which
frequently furnishes a standard of judgment.

Judged by such a criterion, the impression cylinder, or "dandy roll,"
has an added value, for in all probability its operation suggested the
idea of printing from cylinders, as in our present web or perfecting

The matted pulp, now having sufficient body, passes on between two rolls
covered with felt which deliver the web of damp paper upon an endless
belt of moist felt, while the "wire" passes under and back to continue
a fresh supply. The paper is as yet too fragile to travel alone, and
the web felt carries it between two metal rolls called the first
press-rolls. These squeeze out more water, give a greater degree of
compactness to the fibers, smooth the upper surface, and finally deliver
the web of paper to a second felt apron which carries it under and to
the back of the second press-rolls. In this way the under surface comes
to the top, and is in its turn subjected to the smoothing process. A
delicate scraper or blade, the length of the press-rolls, is so placed
on each roll that should the endless web from any cause be broken, the
blade may operate with sufficient force to prevent the wet paper from
clinging to the rolls and winding about them. From this point the paper
travels alone, having become firm and strong enough to sustain its own
weight; passing above the second press-rolls, it resumes its onward
journey around the drying cylinders, passing over and under and over and
under. The drying cylinders are hollow and heated by steam, their
temperature being regulated according to requirements. These driers,
made from iron or steel, are usually from three to four feet in diameter
and vary in length according to the width of the machine. There are from
twelve to fifty of these cylinders, their number depending upon the
character and weight of the paper to be produced, very heavy sheets
requiring many more drying cylinders than sheets of lighter weight.

Strange, almost phenomenal, conditions come about in the transformation
from filmy pulp to finished paper. A sheet which, though formed, is at
the first press-roll too fragile to carry its own weight, becomes
possessed of a final strength and power that is almost incredible. The
myriad of minute fibers composing the sheet, upon drying uniformly,
possesses great aggregate strength. A sheet of paper yields readily to
tearing, but the same sheet, when a perfectly even tension is applied,
will demonstrate that it is possessed of wonderful resisting power. In
evidence may be cited an instance that seems almost beyond belief.
Through some curious mishap a web of heavy paper, in fact, bristol
board, which had been thoroughly formed, was suddenly superheated and
then cooled while still on the driers. This was caused by a difference
in temperature of the driers and resulted in the sudden contraction of
the web of bristol; the strain on the machine was so great that not only
were the driving-cogs broken on two of the driers around which the paper
was at the moment passing, but the driers themselves were actually
lifted out of place, showing a resisting power in the paper of at least
several tons. The paper now passes to the upright stack of rolls which
are known as "calenders." The word is derived from calendra; a
corruption of cylindrus, a roller or cylinder. They are simply rollers
revolving in contact, and heated from the interior by steam. These
calenders are used for giving to the paper a smooth and even surface,
and are also employed in the smoothing and finishing of cloth. The speed
with which the paper passes through these cylinders is remarkable, from
one hundred to five hundred feet running through and over the machine in
a minute; and in some of the most recent mills the web is as wide as one
hundred and fifty-six inches (thirteen feet); this is very nearly double
the average machine width of a very few years ago, while the speed has
increased in proportionate ratio; only a few years ago the maximum speed
was from two hundred and fifty to three hundred feet per minute; at this
writing (1900) there are machines in operation which run as high as five
hundred feet per minute. But great as has been the increase in the
production of paper, the demand has kept pace steadily. The wonderful
product of the rag-bag holds an invincible position in the world's

For machine-finished book and print papers, as well as for other cheaper
grades, the process ends with the calenders, after which the paper is
slit into required widths by disc-knives which are revolving, and so cut
continuously. Paper intended for web newspaper presses is taken off in
continuous rolls of the widths required, varying from seventeen to
seventy-six inches, according to the size of the paper to be printed.
These reels contain from fifteen to twenty-five thousand lineal feet of
paper, or from three to five miles. The amount of paper used in
disseminating the news of the day is enormous; sometimes one or two
mills are required to manufacture the supply for a single metropolitan
daily, while one New York newspaper claims to have used four hundred and
fifty tons of paper in one Christmas edition, which is about four times
the amount of its regular daily consumption.

After having been slit into the proper widths by the revolving knives,
ordinary flat and book papers are cut into sheets by a straight knife
revolving at proper intervals on a horizontal drum. The paper, in
sheets, is carried by a travelling apron to a receiving table at the end
of the machine, where the sheets as they fall are carefully examined by
experts, usually women, who remove any that may be imperfect.

The entire length of a paper machine, from the screens to the calenders,
is about one hundred and twenty-five feet, while the height varies, the
average being about ten feet. The machines, while necessarily of the
finest adjustment, are ponderous and heavy, weighing in some cases as
much as four hundred tons, this being the weight of the machine itself,
exclusive of its foundations. The machine-room is of necessity well
lighted and thoroughly ventilated, and should be kept clean throughout,
as cleanliness is an essential factor in the making of good paper. While
the same general process applies to all classes of paper made, the
particular character of any paper that is to be produced determines
exactly the details of the process through which it shall pass and
regulates the deviations to be made from the general operations in order
to secure special results. For example, some papers are wanted with a
rough or "antique" finish, as it is called; in such cases calendering is
omitted. Another special process is that by which the paper is made with
a ragged or "deckel-edge;" this result is obtained in some mills by
playing a stream of water upon the edge of the pulp, crushing and
thinning it, and thus giving it a jagged appearance. At the present time
this "deckel-edge" paper is being quite extensively used in high-class
bookwork. In the case of writing papers, as has already been stated in
the description of the beating engines, a vegetable sizing made from
resinous matter is introduced into the paper pulp while it is still in
solution, and mixes with it thoroughly, thus filling more or less
completely the pores of the pulp fibers. This is found sufficient for
all ordinary book-papers, for papers that are to be printed upon in the
usual way, and for the cheapest grades of writing-paper, where the
requirements are not very exacting and where a curtailment of expense is
necessary. For the higher grades of writing-paper, however, a distinctly
separate and additional process is required. These papers while on the
machine in web form are passed through a vat which is called the
size-tub, and which is filled with a liquid sizing made of gelatine from
clippings of the horns, hides, and hoofs of cattle, this gelatine or
glue being mixed with dissolved alum and made fluid in the vat. Papers
which are treated in this way are known as "animal," or "tub-sized."

We have duly described machine-dried papers, but these higher grades of
writing-papers are dried by what is known as the loft, or pole-dried
process. Such paper is permitted to dry very slowly in a loft specially
constructed for the purpose, where it is hung on poles several days,
during which time the loft is kept at a temperature of about 100°

Another detail of considerable importance is that of the "finish" or
surface of the paper. When paper with a particularly high or glossy
surface is desired, it is subjected to a separate process, after leaving
the paper machine, known as supercalendering.

"Supercalendering" is effected by passing the web through a stack of
rolls which are similar to the machine calenders already described.
These rolls are composed of metal cylinders, alternating with rolls made
of solidified paper or cotton, turned exactly true, the top and bottom
rolls being of metal and heavier than the others; a stack of
supercalenders is necessarily composed of an odd number of rolls, as
seven, nine, or eleven. The paper passes and repasses through these
calenders until the requisite degree of smoothness and polish has been
acquired. The friction in this machine produces so much electricity that
ground wires are often used to carry it off in order that the paper may
not become so highly charged as to attract dust or cause the sheets to
cling together. When the fine polish has been imparted, the rolls of
paper go to the cutting machines, which are automatic in action, cutting
regular sheets of the required length as the paper is fed to them in a
continuous web. In the manufacture of some high grades of paper, such as
linens and bonds, where an especially fine, smooth surface is required,
the sheets after being cut are arranged in piles of from twelve to
fifteen sheets, plates of zinc are inserted alternately between them,
and they are subjected to powerful hydraulic pressure. This process is
termed "plating," and is, of course, very much more expensive than the
process of supercalendering described above.

From the cutters, the sheets are carried to the inspectors, who are
seated in a row along an extended board table before two divisions with
partitions ten or twelve inches high, affording spaces for the sheets
before and after sorting. The work of inspection is performed by women,
who detect almost instantly any blemish or imperfection in the finished
product as it passes through their hands. If the paper is to be ruled
for writing purposes, it is then taken to the ruling machines, where it
is passed under revolving discs or pens, set at regular intervals. These
convey the ruling ink to the paper as it passes on through the machine,
and thus form true and continuous lines. If the paper is to be folded
after ruling, as in the case of fine note-papers, the sheets pass on
from the ruling machine to the folding machines, which are entirely
automatic in their action. The paper is stacked at the back of the first
folding guide and is fed in by the action of small rubber rollers which
loosen each sheet from the one beneath, and push it forward until it is
caught by the folding apparatus. Man's mechanical ingenuity has given to
the machines of his invention something that seems almost like human
intelligence, and in the case of the folding machine, the action is so
regular and perfect that there seems to be no need of an attendant, save
to furnish a constant supply of sheets. The folding completed, cutting
machines are again brought into requisition, to cut and trim the sheets
to the size of folded note or letter-paper, which is the final operation
before they are sent out into the world on their mission of usefulness.
The finished paper may or may not have passed through the ruling and
folding process, but in either case it goes from the cutters to the
wrappers and packers, and then to the shipping-clerks, all of whom
perform the duties indicated by their names. The wonderful
transformation wrought by the magic wand of science and human invention
is complete, and what came into the factory as great bales of offensive
rags, disgusting to sight and smell, goes forth as delicate, beautiful,
perfected paper, redeemed from filth, and glorified into a high and
noble use. Purity and beauty have come from what was foul and
unwholesome; the highly useful has been summoned forth from the
seemingly useless; a product that is one of the essential factors in the
world's progress, and that promises to serve an ever-increasing purpose,
has been developed from a material that apparently held not the
slightest promise. Well might the _Boston News Letter_ of 1769 exclaim
in quaint old rhyme:

    Rags are as beauties which concealèd lie,
    But when in paper, charming to the eye!
    Pray save your rags, new beauties to discover,
    For of paper truly every one's a lover;
    By the pen and press such knowledge is displayed
    As would not exist if paper was not made.

And well may man pride himself on this achievement, this marvelous
transformation, which represents the fruitage of centuries of striving
and endeavor!

Up to this point the reference has been almost entirely to paper made
from rags, but radical improvements have been made, caused by the
introduction of wood pulp, and these are of such importance that the
account would not be complete without some mention of them. These
changes are mainly in the methods of manipulating the wood to obtain the
pulp, for when that is ready, the process from and including the
"washers" and "beaters," is very similar to that already described. All
papers, whether made from rags or wood, depend upon vegetable fiber for
their substance and fundamental base, and it is found that the different
fibers used in paper-making, when finally subdued, do not differ, in
fact, whether obtained from rags or from the tree growing in the forest.
In the latter case the raw wood is subjected to chemical treatment which
destroys all resinous and foreign matters, leaving merely the cellular
tissue, which, it is found, does not differ in substance from the cell
tissue obtained after treating rags. In either case this cellular
tissue, through the treatment to which the raw material is subjected,
becomes perfectly plastic or moldable, and while the paper made from one
differs slightly in certain characteristics from the paper made from the
other, they are nevertheless very similar, and it might be safe to
predict that further perfecting of processes will eventually make them
practically alike.

The woods used for this purpose are principally poplar and spruce, and
there are three classes of the wood pulp: (1) mechanical wood, (2) soda
process wood, and (3) sulphite wood pulp. The first method was invented
in Germany in 1844. The logs are hewn in the forest, roughly barked, and
shipped to the factory, where the first operation is to cut them up by
steam saws into blocks about two feet in length. Any bark that may still
cling to the log is removed by a rapidly revolving corrugated wheel of
steel, while the larger blocks are split by a steam splitter. The next
stage of their journey takes these blocks to a great millstone set
perpendicularly instead of horizontally. Here a very strong and
ingenious machine receives one block at a time, and with an
automatically elastic pressure holds it sidewise against the millstone,
which, like the mills of the gods, "grinds exceeding fine," and with the
aid of constantly flowing water rapidly reduces these blocks to a pulpy
form. This pulp is carried into tanks, from which it is passed between
rollers, which leave it in thick, damp sheets, which are folded up
evenly for shipment, or for storage for future use. If a paper-mill is
operated in connection with the pulp-mill, the wood pulp is not
necessarily rolled out in sheets, but is pumped directly from the tanks
to the beaters.

In the preparation of pulp by the other processes, the blocks are first
thrown into a chipping machine with great wheels, the short, slanting
knives of which quickly cut the blocks into small chips.

In the soda process, invented by M. Meliner in France in 1865, the chips
from spruce and poplar logs are boiled under pressure in a strong
solution of caustic soda.

When sulphite wood pulp is to be prepared, the chips are conveyed from
the chipper into hoppers in the upper part of the building. Here they
are thrown into great upright iron boilers or digesters charged with
lime-water and fed with the fumes of sulphur which is burned for the
purpose in a furnace adjoining the building and which thus forms acid
sulphide of lime. The sulphite process was originally invented by a
celebrated Philadelphia chemist, but was perfected in Europe.

The "cooking," or boiling, to which the wood is subjected in both the
soda and sulphite processes, effects a complete separation of all
resinous and foreign substances from the fine and true cell tissue, or
cellulose, which is left a pure fiber, ready for use as described. In
the case of all fibers, whether rag or wood, painstaking work counts,
and the excellence of the paper is largely dependent upon the time and
care given to the reduction of the pulp from the original raw material.

Chemical wood pulp of the best quality makes an excellent product, and
is largely used for both print and book paper; it is frequently mixed
with rag pulp, making a paper that can scarcely be distinguished from
that made entirely from fine rags, though it is not of the proper
firmness for the best flat or writing papers. All ordinary newspapers,
as well as some of the cheaper grades of book and wrapping paper, are
made entirely from wood, the sulphite or soda process supplying the
fiber, and ground wood being used as a filler. In the average newspaper
of to-day's issue, twenty-five per cent of sulphite fiber is sufficient
to carry seventy-five per cent of the ground wood filler. The value of
the idea is an economical one entirely, as the ground wood employed
costs less than any other of the component parts of a print-paper sheet.

The cylinder machine, to which reference was made earlier in the
chapter, was patented in 1809 by a prominent paper-maker of England, Mr.
John Dickinson. In this machine, a cylinder covered with wire cloth
revolves with its lower portion dipping into a vat of pulp, while by
suction a partial vacuum is maintained in the cylinder, causing the pulp
to cling to the wire until it is conveyed to a covered cylinder, which
takes it up and carries it forward in a manner similar to the system
already described. This machine is employed in making straw-board and
other heavy and cheap grades of paper.

Generous Mother Nature, who supplies man's wants in such bountiful
fashion, has furnished on her plains and in her forests an abundance of
material that may be transformed into this fine product of human
ingenuity. Esparto, a Spanish grass grown in South Africa, has entered
largely into the making of print-paper in England. Mixed with rags it
makes an excellent product, but the chemicals required to free it from
resin and gritty silica are expensive, while the cost of importation has
rendered its use in America impractical. Flax, hemp, manila, jute and
straw, and of course old paper that has been once used, are extensively
employed in this manufacture, the process beginning with the chemical
treatment and boiling that are found necessary in the manipulation of
rags. The successful use of these materials has met demands that would
not otherwise have been supplied. As a result, the price has been so
cheapened that the demand for paper has greatly increased, and its use
has been extended to many and various purposes.

Many additional items of interest might be described in connection with
the methods of manufacturing paper, but as this work is intended for the
general reader, rather than for the manufacturer, those wishing further
information are referred to technical works on the subject.

The best linen rags are used for the highest grades of writing and bond
papers, while ordinary note, letter, and flat papers are made from
cotton rags. In some mills, such as the government mill at Dalton,
Massachusetts, where the government paper is made for banknotes, and in
others where the finest ledger papers are manufactured, none but new,
clean rags are used. These come from the remnants left in the making of
linen goods. In the government mill where is made the paper for our
national currency, or "greenbacks," there is a special attachment on the
machine for introducing into the paper the silk threads that are always
to be seen in our paper money. This attachment is just above the "wire"
on the machine, and consists of a little conducting trough, through
which flows, from a receptacle near the machine, a stream of water
holding the silk threads in solution. The trough extends across the
machine, and is provided at intervals with openings through which the
short pieces of silk thread are automatically released, and sprinkled
continuously onto the web of pulp as it passes beneath. The paper is
thus distinguished, and infringement and possible counterfeiting are
made extremely difficult by the fact that the government absolutely
forbids the making of paper by others under a similar process, as well
as the production of any paper containing these silk threads. The laws
of the United States pertaining to anything that borders on infringement
of our various money issues, both metal and currency, are most rigid;
anything approaching a similarity of impression is prohibited, and a
cut, stamp, or impression of any character that approaches in its
appearance any money issue of our government is considered a violation
of the law against counterfeiting, and is dealt with severely. The
government takes the same uncompromising position in regard to the
fabrics used in printing its paper-money issues, and it will be quickly
seen that the silk thread process described above it is so great a
variation from anything required in the mercantile world that it would
be difficult to produce a paper at all similar without an ulterior
purpose being at once apparent. For this reason the silk thread
interspersion is in reality a very effective medium in preventing
counterfeiting, not only on account of its peculiar appearance but also
because of the elaborate methods necessary in its production.

In those mills making the finest grades of paper, much of the process of
thrashing, beating, dusting, and cleaning necessary in the ordinary mill
is omitted. The cleanliness and brightness which are reached only at the
"washer" and "beater" engines in the process of manufacturing the lower
grades of paper from cheaper rags, prevail at every step in these higher
grade mills.

One of the first requisites in making good paper, especially the better
grades, is an abundance of pure water, and spring-water, where
available, is preferred.

The effort has been made in the description given to cover the process
of making paper from the crudest rags. In enumerating the several kinds
of paper in another chapter, brief reference will be made to the varying
methods required in their manufacture. In this chapter, no attempt has
been made to cover more than the principal divisions or varieties of
paper--writing, print, and wrapping papers.

The United States, with characteristic enterprise, leads the world in
paper-making, supplying about one-third of all that is used on the
globe. The city of Holyoke, in Massachusetts, is the greatest paper
center in the world, turning out each working-day some two hundred tons
of paper, nearly one-half of which is "tub-sized," "loft-dried"
writings. The region in the vicinity of Holyoke is dotted with
paper-mills, and within a few miles of the city is made about one-half
of all the "loft-dried" writings produced in the United States. The tiny
acorn planted two centuries ago has waxed with the years, gaining
strength and vigor with the increasing strength of the nation, till now
it has become a giant oak, whose branches extend to the lands beyond the


[Footnote 5: From _The Story of Paper-making_, Chapter V.J.W. Butler
Paper Company, Chicago, 1901.]



_William James_

I wish in the following hour to take certain psychological doctrines and
show their practical applications to mental hygiene,--to the hygiene of
our American life more particularly. Our people, especially in academic
circles, are turning towards psychology nowadays with great
expectations; and, if psychology is to justify them, it must be by
showing fruits in the pedagogic and therapeutic lines.

The reader may possibly have heard of a peculiar theory of the emotions,
commonly referred to in psychological literature as the Lange-James
theory. According to this theory, our emotions are mainly due to those
organic stirrings that are aroused in us in a reflex way by the stimulus
of the exciting object or situation. An emotion of fear, for example, or
surprise, is not a direct effect of the object's presence on the mind,
but an effect of that still earlier effect, the bodily commotion which
the object suddenly excites; so that, were this bodily commotion
suppressed, we should not so much _feel_ fear as call the situation
fearful; we should not feel surprise, but coldly recognize that the
object was indeed astonishing. One enthusiast has even gone so far as to
say that when we feel sorry it is because we weep, when we feel afraid
it is because we run away, and not conversely. Some of you may perhaps
be acquainted with the paradoxical formula. Now, whatever exaggeration
may possibly lurk in this account of our emotions (and I doubt myself
whether the exaggeration be very great), it is certain that the main
core of it is true, and that the mere giving way to tears, for example,
or to the outward expression of an anger-fit, will result for the moment
in making the inner grief or anger more acutely felt. There is,
accordingly, no better known or more generally useful precept in the
moral training of youth, or in one's personal self-discipline, than that
which bids us pay primary attention to what we do and express, and not
to care too much for what we feel. If we only check a cowardly impulse
in time, for example, or if we only _don't_ strike the blow or rip out
with the complaining or insulting word that we shall regret as long as
we live, our feelings themselves will presently be the calmer and
better, with no particular guidance from us on their own account. Action
seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and
by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the
will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.

Thus the sovereign voluntary path to cheerfulness, if our spontaneous
cheerfulness be lost, is to sit up cheerfully, to look round cheerfully,
and to act and speak as if cheerfulness were already there. If such
conduct does not make you soon feel cheerful, nothing else on that
occasion can. So to feel brave, act as if we _were_ brave, use all our
will to that end, and a courage-fit will very likely replace the fit of
fear. Again, in order to feel kindly toward a person to whom we have
been inimical, the only way is more or less deliberately to smile, to
make sympathetic inquiries, and to force ourselves to say genial things.
One hearty laugh together will bring enemies into a closer communion of
heart than hours spent on both sides in inward wrestling with the mental
demon of uncharitable feeling. To wrestle with a bad feeling only pins
our attention on it, and keeps it still fastened in the mind; whereas,
if we act as if from some better feeling, the old bad feeling soon folds
its tent like an Arab, and silently steals away.

The best manuals of religious devotion accordingly reiterate the maxim
that we must let our feelings go, and pay no regard to them whatever. In
an admirable and widely successful little book called _The Christian's
Secret of a Happy Life_, by Mrs. Hannah Whitall Smith, I find this
lesson on almost every page. _Act_ faithfully, and you really have
faith, no matter how cold and even how dubious you may feel. "It is your
purpose God looks at," writes Mrs. Smith, "not your feelings about that
purpose; and your purpose, or will, is therefore the only thing you need
attend to.... Let your emotions come or let them go, just as God
pleases, and make no account of them either way.... They really have
nothing to do with the matter. They are not the indicators of your
spiritual state, but are merely the indicators of your temperament or of
your present physical condition."

But you all know these facts already, so I need no longer press them on
your attention. From our acts and from our attitudes ceaseless inpouring
currents of sensation come, which help to determine from moment to
moment what our inner states shall be: that is a fundamental law of
psychology which I will therefore proceed to assume.

A Viennese neurologist of considerable reputation has recently written
about the _Binnenleben,_ as he terms it, or buried life of human beings.
No doctor, this writer says, can get into really profitable relations
with a nervous patient until he gets some sense of what the patient's
_Binnenleben_ is, of the sort of unuttered inner atmosphere in which his
consciousness dwells alone with the secrets of its prison-house. This
inner personal tone is what we can't communicate or describe
articulately to others; but the wraith and ghost of it, so to speak, are
often what our friends and intimates feel as our most characteristic
quality. In the unhealthy-minded, apart from all sorts of old regrets,
ambitions checked by shames and aspirations obstructed by timidities, it
consists mainly of bodily discomforts not distinctly localized by the
sufferer, but breeding a general self-mistrust and sense that things are
not as they should be with him. Half the thirst for alcohol that exists
in the world exists simply because alcohol acts as a temporary
anaesthetic and effacer to all these morbid feelings that never ought to
be in a human being at all. In the healthy-minded, on the contrary,
there are no fears or shames to discover; and the sensations that pour
in from the organism only help to swell the general vital sense of
security and readiness for anything that may turn up.

Consider, for example, the effects of a well-toned _motor-apparatus,_
nervous and muscular, on our general personal self-consciousness, the
sense of elasticity and efficiency that results. They tell us that in
Norway the life of the women has lately been entirely revolutionized by
the new order of muscular feelings with which the use of the _ski_, or
long snow-shoes, as a sport for both sexes, has made the women
acquainted. Fifteen years ago the Norwegian women were even more than
the women of other lands votaries of the old-fashioned ideal of
femininity, "the domestic angel," the "gentle and refining influence"
sort of thing. Now these sedentary fireside tabby-cats of Norway have
been trained, they say, by the snow-shoes into lithe and audacious
creatures, for whom no night is too dark or height too giddy, and who
are not only saying good-bye to the traditional feminine pallor and
delicacy of constitution, but actually taking the lead in every
educational and social reform. I cannot but think that the tennis and
tramping and skating habits and the bicycle-craze which are so rapidly
extending among our dear sisters and daughters in this country are going
also; to lead to a sounder and heartier moral tone, which will send its
tonic breath through all our American life.

I hope that here in America more and more the ideal of the well-trained
and vigorous body will be maintained neck by neck with that of the
well-trained and vigorous mind as the two coequal halves of the higher
education for men and women alike. The strength of the British Empire
lies in the strength of character of the individual Englishman, taken
all alone by himself. And that strength, I am persuaded, is perennially
nourished and kept up by nothing so much as by the national worship, in
which all classes meet, of athletic outdoor life and sport.

I recollect, years ago, reading a certain work by an American doctor on
hygiene and the laws of life and the type of future humanity. I have
forgotten its author's name and its title, but I remember well an awful
prophecy that it contained about the future of our muscular system.
Human perfection, the writer said, means ability to cope with the
environment; but the environment will more and more require mental power
from us, and less and less will ask for bare brute strength. Wars will
cease, machines will do all our heavy work, man will become more and
more a mere director of nature's energies, and less and less an exerter
of energy on his own account. So that, if the _homo sapiens_ of the
future can only digest his food and think, what need will he have of
well-developed muscles at all? And why, pursued this writer, should we
not even now be satisfied with a more delicate and intellectual type of
beauty than that which pleased our ancestors? Nay, I have heard a
fanciful friend make a still further advance in this "new-man"
direction. With our future food, he says, itself prepared in liquid form
from the chemical elements of the atmosphere, pepsinated or
half-digested in advance, and sucked up through a glass tube from a tin
can, what need shall we have of teeth, or stomachs even? They may go,
along with our muscles and our physical courage, while, challenging even
more and more our proper admiration, will grow the gigantic domes of our
crania, arching over our spectacled eyes, and animating our flexible
little lips to those floods of learned and ingenious talk which will
constitute our most congenial occupation.

I am sure that your flesh creeps at this apocalyptic vision. Mine
certainly did so; and I cannot believe that our muscular vigor will ever
be a superfluity. Even if the day ever dawns in which it will not be
needed for fighting the old heavy battles against Nature, it will still
always be needed to furnish the background of sanity, serenity, and
cheerfulness to life, to give moral elasticity to our disposition, to
round off the wiry edge of our fretfulness, and make us good-humored and
easy to approach. Weakness is too apt to be what the doctors call
irritable weakness. And that blessed internal peace and confidence, that
_acquiescentia in seipso_, as Spinoza used to call it, that wells up
from every part of the body of a muscularly well-trained human being,
and soaks the indwelling soul of him with satisfaction, is, quite apart
from every consideration of its mechanical utility, an element of
spiritual hygiene of supreme significance.

And now let me go a step deeper into mental hygiene, and try to enlist
your insight and sympathy in a cause which I believe is one of paramount
patriotic importance to us Yankees. Many years ago a Scottish medical
man, Dr. Clouston, a mad-doctor as they call him there, or what we
should call an asylum physician (the most eminent one in Scotland),
visited this country, and said something that has remained in my memory
ever since. "You Americans," he said, "wear too much expression on your
faces. You are living like an army with all its reserves engaged in
action. The duller countenances of the British population betoken a
better scheme of life. They suggest stores of reserved nervous force to
fall back upon, if any occasion should arise that requires it. This
inexcitability, this presence at all times of power not used, I regard,"
continued Dr. Clouston, "as the great safeguard of our British people.
The other thing in you gives me a sense of insecurity, and you ought
somehow to tone yourselves down. You really do carry too much
expression, you take too intensely the trivial moments of life."

Now Dr. Clouston is a trained reader of the secrets of the soul as
expressed upon the countenance, and the observation of his which I quote
seems to me to mean a great deal. And all Americans who stay in Europe
long enough to get accustomed to the spirit, that reigns and expresses
itself there, so unexcitable as compared with ours, make a similar
observation when they return to their native shores. They find a
wild-eyed look upon their compatriots' faces, either of too desperate
eagerness and anxiety or of too intense responsiveness and good-will. It
is hard to say whether the men or the women show it most. It is true
that we do not all feel about it as Dr. Clouston felt. Many of us, far
from deploring it, admire it. We say: "What intelligence it shows! How
different from the stolid cheeks, the codfish eyes, the slow, inanimate
demeanor we have been seeing in the British Isles!" Intensity, rapidity,
vivacity of appearance, are indeed with us something of a nationally
accepted ideal; and the medical notion of "irritable weakness" is not
the first thing suggested by them to our mind, as it was to Dr.
Clouston's. In a weekly paper not very long ago I remember reading a
story in which, after describing the beauty and interest of the
heroine's personality, the author summed up her charms by saying that to
all who looked upon her an impression as of "bottled lightning" was
irresistibly conveyed.

Bottled lightning, in truth, is one of our American ideals, even of a,
young girl's character! Now it is most ungracious, and it may seem to
some persons unpatriotic, to criticise in public the physical
peculiarities of one's own people, of one's own family, so to speak.
Besides, it may be said, and said with justice, that there are plenty of
bottled-lightning temperaments in other countries, and plenty of
phlegmatic temperaments here; and that, when all is said and done, the
more or less of tension about which I am making such a fuss is a small
item in the sum total of a nation's life, and not worth solemn treatment
at a time when agreeable rather than disagreeable things should be
talked about. Well, in one sense the more or less of tension in our
faces and in our unused muscles _is_ a small thing: not much mechanical
work is done by these contractions. But it is not always the material
size of a thing that measures its importance: often it is its place and
function. One of the most philosophical remarks I ever heard made was by
an unlettered workman who was doing some repairs at my house many years
ago. "There is very little difference between one man and another," he
said, "when you go to the bottom of it. But what little there is, is
very important." And the remark certainly applies to this case. The
general over-contraction may be small when estimated in foot-pounds,
but its importance is immense on account of its _effects on the
over-contracted person's spiritual life_. This follows as a necessary
consequence from the theory of our emotions to which I made reference at
the beginning of this article. For by the sensations that so incessantly
pour in from the over-tense excited body the over-tense and excited
habit of mind is kept up; and the sultry, threatening, exhausting,
thunderous inner atmosphere never quite clears away. If you never wholly
give yourself up to the chair you sit in, but always keep your leg- and
body-muscles half contracted for a rise; if you breathe eighteen or
nineteen instead of sixteen times a minute, and never quite breathe out
at that,--what mental mood _can_ you be in but one of inner panting and
expectancy, and how can the future and its worries possibly forsake your
mind? On the other hand, how can they gain admission to your mind if
your brow be unruffled, your respiration calm and complete, and your
muscles all relaxed?

Now what is the cause of this absence of repose, this bottled-lightning
quality in us Americans? The explanation of it that is usually given is
that it comes from the extreme dryness of our climate and the acrobatic
performances of our thermometer, coupled with the extraordinary
progressiveness of our life, the hard work, the railroad speed, the
rapid success, and all the other things we know so well by heart. Well,
our climate is certainly exciting, but hardly more so than that of many
parts of Europe, where nevertheless no bottled-lightning girls are
found. And the work done and the pace of life are as extreme in every
great capital of Europe as they are here. To me both of these pretended
causes are utterly insufficient to explain the facts.

To explain them, we must go not to physical geography, but to psychology
and sociology. The latest chapter both in sociology and in psychology to
be developed in a manner that approaches adequacy is the chapter on the
imitative impulse. First Bagehot, then Tarde, then Royce and Baldwin
here, have shown that invention and imitation, taken together, form, one
may say, the entire warp and woof of human life, in so far as it is
social. The American over-tension and jerkiness and breathlessness and
intensity and agony of expression are primarily social, and only
secondarily physiological, phenomena. They are _bad habits_, nothing
more or less, bred of custom and example, born of the imitation of bad
models and the cultivation of false personal ideals. How are idioms
acquired, how do local peculiarities of phrase and accent come about?
Through an accidental example set by some one, which struck the ears of
others, and was quoted and copied till at last every one in the locality
chimed in. Just so it is with national tricks of vocalization or
intonation, with national manners, fashions of movement and gesture, and
habitual expressions of face. We, here in America, through following a
succession of pattern-setters whom it is now impossible to trace, and
through influencing each other in a bad direction, have at last settled
down collectively into what, for better or worse, is our own
characteristic national type,--a type with the production of which, so
far as these habits go, the climate and conditions have had practically
nothing at all to do.

This type; which we have thus reached by our imitativeness, we now have
fixed upon us, for better or worse. Now no type can be _wholly_
disadvantageous; but, so far as our type follows the bottled-lightning
fashion, it cannot be wholly good. Dr. Clouston was certainly right in
thinking that eagerness, breathlessness, and anxiety are not signs of
strength: they are signs of weakness and of bad co-ordination. The even
forehead, the slab-like cheek, the codfish eye, may be less interesting
for the moment; but they are more promising signs than intense
expression is of what we may expect of their possessor in the long run.
Your dull, unhurried worker gets over a great deal of ground, because he
never goes backward or breaks down. Your intense, convulsive worker
breaks down and has bad moods so often that you never know where he may
be when you most need his help,--he may be having one of his "bad days."
We say that so many of our fellow-countrymen collapse, and have to be
sent abroad to rest their nerves, because they work so hard. I suspect
that this is an immense mistake. I suspect that neither the nature nor
the amount of our work is accountable for the frequency and severity of
our breakdowns, but that their cause lies rather in those absurd
feelings of hurry and having no time, in that breathlessness and
tension, that anxiety of feature and that solicitude for results, that
lack of inner harmony and ease, in short, by which with us the work is
so apt to be accompanied, and from which a European who should do the
same work would nine times out of ten be free. These perfectly wanton
and unnecessary tricks of inner attitude and outer manner in us, caught
from the social atmosphere, kept up by tradition, and idealized by many
as the admirable way of life, are the last straws that break the
American camel's back, the final overflowers of our measure of wear and
tear and fatigue.

The voice, for example, in a surprisingly large number of us has a tired
and plaintive sound. Some of us are really tired (for I do not mean
absolutely to deny that our climate has a tiring quality); but far more
of us are not tired at all, or would not be tired at all unless we had
got into a wretched trick of feeling tired, by following the prevalent
habits of vocalization and expression. And if talking high and tired,
and living excitedly and hurriedly, would only enable us to _do_ more by
the way, even while breaking us down in the end, it would be different.
There would be some compensation, some excuse, for going on so. But the
exact reverse is the case. It is your relaxed and easy worker, who is in
no hurry, and quite thoughtless most of the while of consequences, who
is your efficient worker; and tension and anxiety, and present and
future, all mixed up together in our mind at once, are the surest drags
upon steady progress and hindrances to our success. My colleague,
Professor Münsterberg, an excellent observer, who came here recently,
has written some notes on America to German papers. He says in substance
that the appearance of unusual energy in America is superficial and
illusory, being really due to nothing but the habits of jerkiness and
bad co-ordination for which we have to thank the defective training of
our people. I think myself that it is high time for old legends and
traditional opinions to be changed; and that, if any one should begin
to write about Yankee inefficiency and feebleness, and inability to do
anything with time except to waste it, he would have a very pretty
paradoxical thesis to sustain, with a great many facts to quote, and a
great deal of experience to appeal to in its proof.

Well, my friends, if our dear American character is weakened by all this
over-tension,--and I think, whatever reserves you may make, that you
will agree as to the main facts,--where does the remedy lie? It lies, of
course, where lay the origins of the disease. If a vicious fashion and
taste are to blame for the thing, the fashion and taste must be changed.
And, though it is no small thing to inoculate seventy millions of people
with new standards, yet, if there is to be any relief, that will have to
be done. We must change ourselves from a race that admires jerk and snap
for their own sakes, and looks down upon low voices and quiet ways as
dull, to one that, on the contrary, has calm for its ideal, and for
their own sakes loves harmony, dignity, and ease.

So we go back to the psychology of imitation again. There is only one
way to improve ourselves, and that is by some of us setting an example
which the others may pick up and imitate till the new fashion spreads
from east to west. Some of us are in more favorable positions than
others to set new fashions. Some are much more striking personally and
imitable, so to speak. But no living person is sunk so low as not to be
imitated by somebody. Thackeray somewhere says of the Irish nation that
there never was an Irishman so poor that he didn't have a still poorer
Irishman living at his expense; and, surely, there is no human being
whose example doesn't work contagiously in _some_ particular. The very
idiots at our public institutions imitate each other's peculiarities.
And, if you should individually achieve calmness and harmony in your own
person, you may depend upon it that a wave of imitation will spread from
you, as surely as the circles spread outward when a stone is dropped
into a lake.

Fortunately, we shall not have to be absolute pioneers. Even now in New
York they have formed a society for the improvement of our national
vocalization, and one perceives its machinations already in the shape of
various newspaper paragraphs intended to stir up dissatisfaction with
the awful thing that it is. And, better still than that, because more
radical and general, is the gospel of relaxation, as one may call it,
preached by Miss Annie Payson Call, of Boston, in her admirable little
volume called _Power Through Repose_, a book that ought to be in the
hands of every teacher and student in America of either sex. You need
only be followers, then, on a path already opened up by others. But of
one thing be confident: others still will follow you.

And this brings me to one more application of psychology to practical
life, to which I will call attention briefly, and then close. If one's
example of easy and calm ways is to be effectively contagious, one feels
by instinct that the less voluntarily one aims at getting imitated, the
more unconscious one keeps in the matter, the more likely one is to
succeed. _Become the imitable thing,_ and you may then discharge your
minds of all responsibility for the imitation. The laws of social
nature will take care of that result. Now the psychological principle on
which this precept reposes is a law of very deep and widespread
importance in the conduct of our lives, and at the same time a law which
we Americans most grievously neglect. Stated technically, the law is
this: that _strong feeling about one's self tends to arrest the free
association of one's objective ideas and motor processes._ We get the
extreme example of this in the mental disease called melancholia.

A melancholic patient is filled through and through with intensely
painful emotion about himself. He is threatened, he is guilty, he is
doomed, he is annihilated, he is lost. His mind is fixed as if in a
cramp on these feelings of his own situation, and in all the books on
insanity you may read that the usual varied flow of his thoughts has
ceased. His associative processes, to use the technical phrase, are
inhibited; and his ideas stand stock-still, shut up to their one
monotonous function of reiterating inwardly the fact of the man's
desperate estate. And this inhibitive influence is not due to the mere
fact that his emotion is _painful_. Joyous emotions about the self also
stop the association of our ideas. A saint in ecstasy is as motionless
and irresponsive and one-idea'd as a melancholiac. And, without going as
far as ecstatic saints, we know how in every one a great or sudden
pleasure may paralyze the flow of thought. Ask young people returning
from a party or a spectacle, and all excited about it, what it was. "Oh,
it was _fine!_ it was _fine!_ it was _fine!_" is all the information you
are likely to receive until the excitement has calmed down. Probably
every one of my hearers has been made temporarily half-idiotic by some
great success or piece of good fortune. "_Good!_ GOOD! GOOD!" is all we
can at such times say to ourselves until we smile at our own very

Now from all this we can draw an extremely practical conclusion. If,
namely, we wish our trains of ideation and volition to be copious and
varied and effective, we must form the habit of freeing them from the
inhibitive influence of reflection upon them, of egoistic pre-occupation
about their results. Such a habit, like other habits, can be formed.
Prudence and duty and self-regard, emotions of ambition and emotions of
anxiety, have, of course, a needful part to play in our lives. But
confine them as far as possible to the occasions when you are making
your general resolutions and deciding on your plan of campaign, and keep
them out of the details. When once a decision is reached and execution
is the order of the day, dismiss absolutely all responsibility and care
about the outcome. _Unclamp_, in a word, your intellectual and practical
machinery, and let it run free; and the service it will do you will be
twice as good. Who are the scholars who get "rattled" in the
recitation-room? Those who think of the possibilities of failure and
feel the great importance of the act. Who are those who do recite well?
Often those who are most indifferent. _Their_ ideas reel themselves out
of their memory of their own accord. Why do we hear the complaint so
often that social life in New England is either less rich and expressive
or more fatiguing than it is in some other parts of the world? To what
is the fact, if fact it be, due unless to the over-active conscience of
the people, afraid of either saying something too trivial and obvious,
or something insincere, or something unworthy of one's interlocutor, or
something in some way or other not adequate to the occasion? How can
conversation possibly steer itself through such a sea of
responsibilities and inhibitions as this? On the other hand,
conversation does flourish and society is refreshing, and neither dull
on the one hand nor exhausting from its efforts on the other, wherever
people forget their scruples and take the brakes off their hearts, and
let their tongues wag as automatically and irresponsibly as they will.

They talk much in pedagogic circles to-day about the duty of the teacher
to prepare for every lesson in advance. To some extent this is useful.
But we Yankees are assuredly not those to whom such a general doctrine
should be preached. We are only too careful as it is. The advice I
should give to most teachers would be in the words of one who is herself
an admirable teacher. Prepare yourself in the _subject so well that it
shall be always on tap_: then in the class-room trust your spontaneity
and fling away all further care.

My advice to students, especially to girl-students, would be somewhat
similar. Just as a bicycle-chain may be too tight, so may one's
carefulness and conscientiousness be so tense as to hinder the running
of one's mind. Take, for example, periods when there are many successive
days of examination pending. One ounce of good nervous tone in an
examination is worth many pounds of anxious study for it in advance. If
you want really to do your best at an examination, fling away the book
the day before, say to yourself, "I won't waste another minute on this
miserable thing, and I don't care an iota whether I succeed or not." Say
this sincerely and feel it; and go out and play, or go to bed and sleep,
and I am sure the results next day will encourage you to use the method
permanently. I have heard this advice given to a student by Miss Call,
whose book on muscular relaxation I quoted a moment ago. In her later
book, entitled _As a Matter of Course_, the gospel of moral relaxation,
of dropping things from the mind, and not "caring," is preached with
equal success. Not only our preachers, but our friends the theosophists
and mind-curers of various religious sects are also harping on this
string. And with the doctors, the Delsarteans, the various mind-curing
sects, and such writers as Mr. Dresser, Prentice Mulford, Mr. Horace
Fletcher, and Mr. Trine to help, and the whole band of schoolteachers
and magazine-readers chiming in, it really looks as if a good start
might be made in the direction of changing our American mental habit
into something more indifferent and strong.

Worry means always and invariably inhibition of associations and loss of
effective power. Of course, the sovereign cure for worry is religious
faith; and this, of course, you also know. The turbulent billows of the
fretful surface leave the deep parts of the ocean undisturbed, and to
him who has a hold on vaster and more permanent realities the hourly
vicissitudes of his personal destiny seem relatively insignificant
things. The really religious person is accordingly unshakable and full
of equanimity, and calmly ready for any duty that the day may bring
forth. This is charmingly illustrated by a little work with which I
recently became acquainted, "The Practice of the Presence of God, the
Best Ruler of a Holy Life, by Brother Lawrence, being Conversations and
Letters of Nicholas Herman of Lorraine, Translated from the French."[7]
I extract a few passages, the conversations being given in indirect
discourse. Brother Lawrence was a Carmelite friar, converted at Paris in
1666. "He said that he had been footman to M. Fieubert, the Treasurer,
and that he was a great awkward fellow, who broke everything. That he
had desired to be received into a monastery, thinking that he would
there be made to smart for his awkwardness and the faults he should
commit, and so he should sacrifice to God his life, with its pleasures;
but that God had disappointed him, he having met with nothing but
satisfaction in that state....

"That he had long been troubled in mind from a certain belief that he
should be damned; that all the men in the world could not have persuaded
him to the contrary; but that he had thus reasoned with himself about
it: _I engaged in a religious life only for the love of God, and I have
endeavored to act only for Him; whatever becomes of me, whether I be
lost or saved, I will always continue to act purely for the love of God.
I shall have this good at least, that till death I shall have done all
that is in me to love Him ..._ That since then he had passed his life in
perfect liberty and continual joy.

"That when an occasion of practicing some virtue offered, he addressed
himself to God, saying, 'Lord, I cannot do this unless Thou enablest
me'; and that then he received strength more than sufficient. That, when
he had failed in his duty, he only confessed his fault, saying to God,
'I shall never do otherwise, if You leave me to myself: it is You who
must hinder my failing, and mend what is amiss.' That after this he gave
himself no further uneasiness about it.

"That he had been lately sent into Burgundy to buy the provision of wine
for the society, which was a very unwelcome task for him, because he had
no turn for business, and because he was lame, and could not go about
the boat but by rolling himself over the casks. That, however, he gave
himself no uneasiness about it, nor about the purchase of the wine. That
he said to God, 'It was his business he was about,' and that he
afterward found it well performed. That he had been sent into Auvergne,
the year before, upon the same account; that he could not tell how the
matter passed, but that it proved very well.

"So, likewise, in his business in the kitchen (to which he had naturally
a great aversion), having accustomed himself to do everything there for
the love of God, and with prayer upon all occasions, for his grace to do
his work well, he had found everything easy during fifteen years that he
had been employed there.

"That he was very well pleased with the post he was now in, but that he
was as ready to quit that as the former, since he was always pleasing
himself in every condition, by doing little things for the love of God.

"That the goodness of God assured him He would not forsake him utterly,
and that He would give him strength to bear whatever evil He permitted
to happen to him; and, therefore, that he feared nothing, and had no
occasion to consult with anybody about his state. That, when he had
attempted to do it, he had always come away more perplexed."

The simple-heartedness of the good Brother Lawrence, and the relaxation
of all unnecessary solicitudes and anxieties in him is a refreshing

       *       *       *       *       *

The need of feeling responsible all the livelong day has been preached
long enough in our New England. Long enough exclusively, at any
rate,--and long enough to the female sex. What our girl-students and
women-teachers most need nowadays is not the exacerbation, but rather
the toning-down of their moral tensions. Even now I fear that some one
of my fair hearers may be making an undying resolve to become
strenuously relaxed, cost what it will, for the remainder of her life.
It is needless to say that that is not the way to do it. The way to do
it, paradoxical as it may seem, is genuinely not to care whether you are
doing it or not. Then, possibly, by the grace of God, you may all at
once find that you _are_ doing it, and, having learned what the trick
feels like, you may (again by the grace of God) be enabled to go on.

And that something like this may be the happy experience of all my
hearers is, in closing, my most earnest wish.


[Footnote 6: From _Talks to Teachers on Psychology and to Students on
Some of Life's Problems_. Henry Holt and Company, New York, 1902.]

[Footnote 7: Fleming H. Revell Company, New York (AUTHOR).]


_Charles Proteus Steinmetz_

The problem of religion--that is, of the relations of man with the
supernatural, with God and immortality, with the soul, our personality
or the ego, and its existence or nonexistence after death--is the
greatest and deepest which ever confronted mankind. In the present state
of human knowledge, science can give no definite and final conclusions
on these subjects, because of the limitations inherent in science.

We must realize that all our knowledge and information and the entire
structure of science are ultimately derived from the perceptions of our
senses and thereby limited in the same manner and to the same extent as
our sense perceptions and our intellect are limited. The success or
failure of scientific achievement largely depends on the extent to which
we can abstract--that is, make our observations and conclusions
independent of the limitations of the human mind. But there are
limitations inherent in the human mind beyond which our intellect cannot
reach, and therefore science does not and cannot show us the world as it
actually is, with its true facts and laws, but only as it appears to us
within the inherent limitations of the human mind.

The greatest limitation of the human mind is that all its perceptions
are finite, and our intellect cannot grasp the conception of infinity.
The same limitation therefore applies to the world as it appears to our
reasoning intellect, and in the world of science there is no infinity,
and conceptions such as God and the immortality of the ego are beyond
the realm of empirical science. Science deals only with finite events in
finite time and space, and the farther we pass onward in space or time,
the more uncertain becomes the scientific reasoning, until, in trying to
approach the infinite, we are lost in the fog of unreasonable
contradiction, "beyond science"--that is, "transcendental".

Thus, we may never know and understand the infinite, whether in nature,
in the ultimate deductions from the laws of nature in time and in space,
or beyond nature, on such transcendental conceptions as God and
immortality. But we may approach these subjects as far as the
limitations of our mind permit, reach the border line beyond which we
cannot go, and so derive some understanding of how far these subjects
may appear nonexisting or unreasonable, merely because they are beyond
the limitations of our intellect.

There appear to me two promising directions of approach--first, from the
complex of thought and research, which in physics has culminated in the
theory of relativity; and, second, in a study of the gaps found in the
structure of empirical science and what they may teach us.

All events of nature occur in space and in time. Whatever we perceive,
whatever record we receive through our senses, always is attached to,
and contained in, space and time. But are space and time real existing
things? Have they an absolute reality outside of our mind, as a part or
framework of nature, as entities--that is, things that are? Or are they
merely a conception of the human mind, a form given by the character of
our mind to the events of nature--that is, to the hypothetical cause of
our sense perceptions? Kant, the greatest and most critical of all
philosophers, in his _Critique of Pure Reason (Kritik der Reinen
Vernunft)_, concludes that space and time have no absolute existence,
but are categories--that is, forms in which the human mind conceives his
relation to nature. The same idea is expressed by the poet-philosopher
Goethe in his dramatic autobiography _Faust_ (in the second part), when
he refers to the "Mütter," to the marriage of Achilles and Helena
"outside of all time." It is found in ancient time. So Revelation speaks
of "there should be time no longer" (hoti chronos ouketi

The work of the great mathematicians of the nineteenth century--Gauss,
Riemann, Lobatschefsky, Bolyai--offered further evidence that space is
not an empirical deduction from nature, but a conception of the mind, by
showing that various forms of space can be conceived, differing from one
another and from the form in which the mind has cast the events of
nature (the "Euclidean" space). Finally, physical science, in the theory
of relativity, has deduced the same conclusions: space and time do not
exist in nature by themselves, as empty space and empty time, but their
existence is only due to things and events as they occur in nature. They
are relative in the relation between us and the events of nature, so
much so that they are not fixed and invariable in their properties, but
depend upon the observer and the conditions of observation.

We can get an idea of how utterly our perception of nature depends on
the particular form of our time conception by picturing to ourselves how
nature would look if our time perception were 100,000 times faster, or
100,000 times slower.

In the first case, with our sense perceptions 100,000 times faster, all
events in nature would appear to us 100,000 times slower. This would
then be a stationary and immovable world. The only motion which we could
see with our eyes would be that of the cannon ball, which would crawl
slowly along, at less than a snail's pace. The express train going at
sixty miles per hour would appear to stand still, and deliberate
experiment be required to discover its motion. By noting its position on
the track, and noting it again after a period of time as long as five
minutes appears to us now, we should find its position changed by three
inches. It would be a dangerous world, as there would be many
objects--not distinguishable to the senses from other harmless
objects--contact with which would be dangerous, even fatal; and one and
the same object (as the express train) might sometimes be harmless (when
at rest), sometimes dangerous (when in motion), without our senses being
able to see any difference.

On the other hand, with our sense perceptions 100,000 times slower, all
events in nature would appear to us to occur 100,000 times faster. There
would be little rest in nature, and we should see plants, and even
stones, move. We should observe, in a period of time not longer than a
minute or two appear to us now, a plant start from seed, grow up,
flower, bring fruit, and die. Sun and moon would be luminous bands
traversing the sky; day and night alternate seconds of light and
darkness. Much of nature, all moving things, would be invisible to us.
If I moved my arm, it would disappear, to reappear again when I held it
still. It would be a usual occurrence to have somebody suddenly appear
and just as suddenly disappear from our midst, or to see only a part of
a body. The vanishing and the appearance of objects would be common
occurrences in nature; and we should speak of "vanishing" and
"appearing," instead of "moving" and "stopping." Collisions, usually
harmless, with invisible objects would be common occurrences.

As seen, nature and its laws would appear to us very different from what
we find them now, with our present time perception.

Thus philosophy, mathematics, and physical science agree that space and
time cannot be entities, but are conceptions of the human mind in its
relation to nature. But what does this mean, and what conclusions follow
from it?

The space of our conception is three-dimensional--that is, extended in
three directions. For instance, the north-south direction, the east-west
direction, and the up-down direction. Any place or "point" in space thus
is located, relative to some other point, by giving its three distances
from the latter, in three (arbitrarily chosen) directions.

Time has only one dimension--that is, extends in one direction only,
from the past to the future--and a moment or "point" in time thus is
located, with reference to another point in time, by one time distance.

But there is a fundamental difference between our space conception and
our time conception, in that we can pass through time only in one
direction, from the past to the future, while we can pass through space
in any direction, from north to south, as well as from south to
north--that is, time is irreversible, flows uniformly in one direction,
while space is reversible, can be traversed in any direction. This means
that when we enter a thing in space, as a house, we can approach it,
pass through it, leave it, come back to it, and the thing therefore
appears permanent to us, and we know, even when we have left the house
and do not see it any more, that it still exists, and that we can go
back to it again and enter it. Not so with time. On approaching a thing
in time, an event such as a human life, it extends from a point in
time--birth--over a length of time--the life--to an end point in
time--death--just as the house in space extends from a point in
space--say the north wall--over a length of space--its extent--to an end
point in space--say the south wall. But when we pass beyond the end
point of an event in time--the death of a life--we cannot go back to the
event any more; the event has ceased, ended, the life is extinct.

But let us imagine that the same irreversibility applied to the
conception of space--that is, that we could move through space only from
north to south, and not in the opposite direction. Then a thing in
space, as a house, would not exist for us until we approached it. When
we were approaching it, it would first appear indistinctly, and more and
more distinctly the nearer we approached it, just as an event in time
does not exist until we reach the point of its beginning, but may appear
in anticipation, in time perspective, when we approach it, the more
distinctly, the closer we approach it, until we reach the threshold of
the time span covered by the event, and the event begins to exist, the
life is born. So to us, if we could move only from north to south, the
house would begin to exist only when we reached its north door. That
point would be the "birth" of the house. Passing through the span of
space covered by the house--this would for us be its existence, its
"life," and when we stepped out of the south door the house would cease
to exist for us, we could never enter it and turn back to it again--that
is, it would be dead and extinct, just as the life when we pass beyond
its end point in time. Thus birth and death, appearance and extinction
of an event in time, as our life, are the same as the beginning and end
point of a thing in space, like a house. But the house appears to us to
exist permanently, whether we are in it, within the length between
beginning and end point, or not; while the event in time, our life,
appears to us to exist only during the length of time when we are
between its beginning and its end point in time, and before and after it
does not exist for us, because we cannot go back to it or ahead into it.
But assume time were reversible, like space--that is, we could go
through it in any direction. There would then be no such thing as birth
or origin, and death or extinction, but our life would exist
permanently, as a part or span of time, just as the house exists as a
part or section of space, and the question of immortality, of extinction
or nonextinction by death, would then be meaningless. We should not
exist outside of the span of time covered by our life, just as we do not
exist outside of the part of space covered by our body in space, and to
reach an event, as our life, we should have to go to the part of space
and to the part of time where it occurs; but there would be no more
extinction of the life by going beyond its length in time as there is
extinction of a house by going outside of its door, and everything, like
a human being, would have four extensions or dimensions--three
extensions in space and one in time.[9]

If space and time, and therefore the characteristics of space and time,
are not real things or entities, but conceptions of the human mind, then
those transcendental questions, as that of immortality after death and
existence before birth, are not problems of fact in nature or outside of
nature, but are meaningless, just as the question whether a house exists
for an observer outside of the space covered by it. In other words, the
questions of birth and death, of extinction or immortality, are merely
the incidental results of the peculiarity of our conceptions of time,
the peculiarity that the time of our conceptions is irreversible, flows
continuously at a uniform rate in the same direction from the past to
the future.

But if time has no reality, is not an existing entity, then these
transcendental problems resulting from our time conception, of
extinction or immortality, have no real existence, but are really
phenomena of the human mind, and cease to exist if we go beyond the
limitations of our mind, beyond our peculiar time conception.

It is interesting to realize that the modern development of science, in
the relativity theory, has proved not only that time is not real, but a
conception, but also has proved that the time of our conception does not
flow uniformly at constant rate from past to future, but that the rate
of the flow of time varies with the conditions; the rate of time flow of
an event slows down with the motion relative to the event.

But the conception of a reversal of the flow of time is no more
illogical than the conception of a change of the rate of the flow of
time. It is inconceivable, because it is beyond the limitations of our

Thus we see that the questions of life and death, of extinction and
immortality, are not absolute problems, but merely the result of the
limitations of our mind in its conception of time, and have no existence
outside of us.

After all, to some extent we conceive time as reversible, in the
conception of historical time. In history we go back in time at our
will, and traverse with the mind's eye the times of the past, and we
then find that death and extinction do not exist in history, but the
events of history, the lives of those who made history, exist just as
much outside of the span of time of their physiological life--that is,
are immortal in historical time. They may fade and become more
indistinct with the distance in time, just as things in space become
more indistinct with the distance in space, but they can be brought back
to full clearness and distinction by again approaching the things and
events, the former moving through space, the latter moving through the
historical time--that is, by looking up and studying the history of the


Scientifically, life is a physico-chemical process. Transformations of
matter, with which the chemist deals, and transformations of energy,
with which the physicist deals, are all that is comprised in the
phenomenon of life; and mind, intellect, soul, personality, the ego, are
mere functions of the physico-chemical process of life, vanishing when
this process ceases, but are not a part of the transformations of matter
and of energy. If you thus speak of "mental energy," it scientifically
is a misnomer, and mind is not energy in the physical sense. It is true
that mental effort, intellectual work, is accompanied by transformations
of matter, chemical changes in the brain, and by transformations of
energy. But the mental activity is not a part of the energy or of the
matter which is transformed, but the balance of energy and of matter

In the energy transformations accompanying mental activity, just as much
energy of one form appears as energy of some other form is consumed, and
the mental activity is no part of the energy. In the transformations of
matter accompanying mental activity, just as much matter of one form
appears as matter of some other form is consumed, and the mental
activity is no part of either--that is, neither energy nor matter has
been transformed into mental activity, nor has energy or matter been
produced by mental activity. All attempts to account for the mental
activity as produced by the expenditure of physical energy, or as
producing physical energy--that is, exerting forces and action--have
failed and must fail, and so must any attempt to record or observe and
measure mental activity by physical methods--that is, methods sensitive
to the action of physical forces.

But what, then, is mind? Is it a mere phenomenon, accompanying the
physico-chemical reactions of life and vanishing with the end of the
reaction, just as the phenomenon of a flame may accompany a chemical
reaction, and vanish when the reaction is completed? Or is mind an
entity, just like the entity energy and the entity matter, but differing
from either of them--in short, a third entity? We have compared mind
with the phenomenon of a flame accompanying a chemical reaction; but,
after all, the flame is not a mere phenomenon, but is an entity, is

More than once, in the apparently continuous and unbroken structure of
science, wide gaps have been discovered into which new sections of
knowledge fitted, sections the existence of which had never been
suspected. So in Mendelejeff's _Periodic System of the Elements_ all
chemical elements fitted in without gaps--in a continuous series (except
a few missing links, which were gradually discovered and filled in).
Nevertheless, the whole group of six noble gases, from helium to
emanium, were discovered and fitted into the periodic system at a place
where nobody had suspected a gap.

One of the most interesting of such unsuspected gaps in the structure of
science is the following, because of its pertinency to the subject of
our discussion.

In studying the transformations of matter, the chemist records them by
equations of the form:

(1) 2H_{2} + O_{2} = 2H_{2}O, which means:

Two gram molecules of hydrogen H_{2}(2 X 2 = 4 grams) and 1 gram
molecule of oxygen O_{2}(1 X 32 grams), combine to 2 gram molecules of
water vapor H_{2}O (2 X 18 = 36 grams).

For nearly a hundred years chemists wrote and accepted this equation;
innumerable times it has been experimentally proved by combining 4 parts
of hydrogen and 32 parts of oxygen to 36 parts of water vapor; so that
this chemical equation would appear as correct and unquestionable as
anything can be.

Nevertheless, it is wrong, or rather incomplete. It does not give the
whole event, but omits an essential part of it, and now we write it:

(2) 2H_{2} + O_{2} = 2H_{2}O + 293,000 J., which means:

The matter _and energy_ of 2 gram molecules of hydrogen, and the matter
_and energy_ of 1 gram molecule of oxygen, combine to the matter _and
energy_ of 2 gram molecules of water vapor and 293,000 joules, or units,
of _free energy_.

For a hundred years the chemists thus saw only the material
transformation as represented by equation (1), but overlooked and did
not recognize the energy transformation coincident with the
transformation of matter, though every time the experiment was made, the
293,000 J. of energy in equation (2) made themselves felt as flame, as
heat and mechanical force, sometimes even explosively shattering the
container in which the experiment was made. But the flame and the
explosion appeared only as an incidental phenomenon without
significance, as it represents and contains no part of the matter, but
equation (1) gives the complete balance of matter in transformation. It
was much later that the scientists realized the significance of the
flame accompanying the material transformation as not a mere incidental
phenomenon, but as the manifestation of the entity energy, permanent and
indestructible, like matter, and the complete equation (2) appeared,
giving the balance of energy as well as the balance of matter--that is,
coincident with the transformation of matter is a transformation of
energy, and both are indissoluble from each other, either involves the
other, and both may be called different aspects of the same phenomenon.

But we have seen, when mental activity occurs in our mind, chemical and
physical transformations accompany it, are coincident with it, and
apparently indissoluble from it. Does there possibly exist the same
relation between mental activity and the transformations of energy and
matter, as we have seen to exist between the latter two? Are mental
activity, energy transformation, and transformation of matter three
aspects of the same biochemical phenomenon?

If for nearly a hundred years equation (1) was considered complete,
until we found that one side was incomplete, and arrived at the more
complete equation (2), the question may well be raised: Is equation (2)
complete, dealing as it does with two entities, matter and energy, or is
it not possibly still incomplete, and a third entity should appear in
the equation, an entity "X," as I may call it, differing from energy and
from matter, just as energy and matter differ from each other, and
therefore not recognizable and measurable by the means which measure
energy or matter, just as energy cannot be measured by the same means as

That is, the complete equation of transformation would read:

(3) 2H_{2} + O_{2} = 2H_{2}O + 293,000 J. + X, involving all three
entities, matter, energy, and mind, pertaining, respectively, to the
realm of chemistry, of physics, and of psychology, or possibly a broader
science of which psychology is one branch.

There is no scientific evidence whatsoever of the existence of such a
third entity, "X," but all our deductions have been by analogy, which
proves nothing--that is, by speculation, dreaming, and unavoidably
so--since in these conceptions we are close to the border line of the
human mind where logical reasoning loses itself in the fog of
contradiction. But at the same time there is no evidence against the
conception of an entity "X"; it is not illogical, at least no more so
than all such general conceptions, no more so than, for instance, that
of energy or of matter. As empirical science deals with energy and
matter, and entity "X" is neither, it could not be observed by any of
the methods of experimental physics or chemistry.

If mind is a third entity, correlated with the entities of energy and
of matter, we should expect that mental activity, or entity "X," should
occur not only in the highly complex transformations of energy and of
matter taking place in the brains of the highest orders of living
beings, but that entity "X" should appear in all physico-chemical
reactions, just as energy transformations always occur in
transformations of matter, and inversely. But this seems not so, and in
most of the transformations of energy and of matter entity "X" does not
appear. However, we have no satisfactory means of recognizing entity
"X," no methods of studying it. Therefore, it may well be that it is
noticed only in those rare instances when it appears of high intensity,
but in most reactions entity "X" may be so small or appear in such way
as to escape observation by the means and by the methods now available.
Like energy or matter, entity "X" may have many forms in which it is not
recognized by us, just as for a long time the flame was not recognized
as the entity energy.

To illustrate, again by analogy: In many transformations of matter,
indeed, in most of the more complex ones of the organic world, the
concurrent energy transformation is of such slowness and of such low
intensity that it appears nonexisting, and can be discovered and
measured only by the delicate experiments devised by science.
Furthermore, the energy may appear in different forms. Thus the 293,000
J. of energy in equation (2) may appear as heat, or as electrical
energy, or as a combination of heat, light, sound, and mechanical
energy. Now assume that we could observe and notice only one of the
forms of energy--for instance, only electrical energy. We should then
find that in the equation (1) we only sometimes get energy--that is,
electrical energy--under special peculiar conditions, but usually do not
seem to get any of the entity energy, simply because we do not recognize
it in the form in which it appears. Analogously, there might be a term
of entity "X" in all transformations, even such simple ones as equation
(3), but entity "X" may appear in a far different, simpler form. It
would mean that "mind" is only one form of entity "X," perhaps the
high-grade form, as it appears in highly complex reactions. In the
simpler physico-chemical processes of nature, entity "X" also would
appear, but in other, simpler forms. It would mean that things such as
mind and intellect are not limited to the higher living beings, but
characteristics akin thereto would be found grading down throughout all
living and inanimate nature. This does not appear unreasonable when we
consider that some characteristics of life are found throughout all
nature, even in the crystal which, in its mother liquor, repairs a
lesion, "heals a wound," or which, in the colloidal solution, may be
"poisoned" by prussic acid.

Assume, then, that mind, intellect, personality, the ego, were forms of
a third entity, an entity "X," correlated in nature with the entities
energy and matter. Then, just as energy and matter continuously change
their forms, so with the transformations of energy and of matter, entity
"X" would continuously change, disappear in one form and reappear in
another form. Entity "X" could therefore not exist permanently in one
and the same form, and the permanency of the ego--that is,
immortality--would still be illogical, would not exist within the realm
of science, but would carry us beyond the limitations of the human mind
into the unknowable. Permanency of the ego--that is, individual
immortality--would require a form of entity "X," in which it is not
further transformable. This would be the case if the transformations of
entity "X" are not completely reversible, but tend one definite
direction, from lower-grade to higher-grade forms, and the latter thus
would gradually build up to increasing permanency. There is nothing
unreasonable in this, but a similar condition--in the reverse
direction--exists with the transformations of energy. They also are not
completely reversible, but tend in a definite direction, from higher- to
lower-grade form--unavailable heat energy (the increase of entropy by
the second law of thermodynamics). Thus in infinite time the universe
should come to a standstill, in spite of the law of conservation of
energy, by all energy becoming unavailable for further
transformation--that is, becoming dead energy. If entity "X" existed,
could it not also have become unavailable for further transformation by
reaching its maximum high-grade form and thus become not susceptible to
further change--that is, "immortal"--just as the unavailable heat of the
physicist is "immortal," and not capable of further transformation? Here
we are again in the fog of illogic, beyond the limitations. However, it
sounds familiar to the Nirvana of the Buddhist.

Physics and chemistry obviously could not deal with entity "X," and the
most delicate and sensitive physical or chemical instruments could get
no indication of it, and all attempts at investigation by physical or
chemical means thus must be doomed to failure. But such investigations
of entity "X" belong to the realm of the science of psychology, or,
rather, a broader science, of which psychology is one branch dealing
with one form of entity "X," mind, just as, for instance,
electro-physics is one branch of the broader science of physics, dealing
with electrical energy, while physics deals with all forms of energy.

In concluding, I wish to say that nothing in the preceding speculations
can possibly encourage spiritism or other pseudo-science. On the
contrary, from the preceding it is obvious that the alleged
manifestations of spiritism must be fake or self-deception, since they
are manifestations of energy. Entity "X," if it exists, certainly is not
energy, and therefore could not manifest itself as such.


[Footnote 8: From _Harpers Magazine_ for February, 1922.]

[Footnote 9: It is interesting to note that the relativity theory leads
to the conception of a symmetrical four-dimensional world space
(Minkowski), in which in general each of the four dimensions comprises
space and time conceptions, and the segregation into three dimensions of
space and one dimension of time occurs only under special conditions of
observation. (AUTHOR.)]


SIR ARTHUR KEITH, M.D., LL.D., F.R.S., born in Aberdeen, 1866, was
educated at the University of Aberdeen; at University College, London;
and at the University of Leipzig. From 1899 to 1902, he was Secretary of
the Anatomical Society of Great Britain, and was President of the Royal
Anthropological Institute from 1912 to 1914. At present he is Hunterian
Professor and Conservator of Museum, Royal College of Surgeons, London,
and also holds the Fullerian Professorship of Physiology, Royal
Institution of Great Britain and Ireland. Beginning with his
_Introduction to the Study of Anthropoid Apes_ in 1896, he has produced
some ten volumes. Among them are _Human Embryology and Morphology_
(1901); _Ancient Types of Man_ (1911); _The Human Body_ (1912); _Menders
of the Maimed_ (1919); and _Nationality and Race_ (1920). He was
knighted in 1921.

"The Levers of the Human Body" is helpful in illustrating the value of
diagrams and of analogy in the exposition of a mechanism. It may be used
also for teaching the student to adapt his work to the audience, for,
although prepared at first for an immature audience, its material has
since been so adapted that in addition to the general reader it is of
particular interest to the physician and to the engineer.

The series of volumes in which _Modern Methods of Book Composition_
appears, is but one of the distinguished services in improving the
practice of typography rendered by THEODORE LOW DE VINNE (1828-1914). At
his invitation, the chapter, "Mechanical Composition," was contributed
by PHILIP T. DODGE, President of the Mergenthaler Linotype Company.

"The Mergenthaler Linotype," which is taken from Mr. Dodge's chapter, is
well adapted for teaching the correlation of diagrams and text in the
exposition of mechanisms and machines.

Some idea of the length of JEAN HENRI FABRE'S life (1823-1915) may be
obtained when we recall that his place as a scientist was established
early enough for Victor Hugo to refer to him as the "insects' Homer" and
for Darwin to refer to him in _The Origin of Species_ as "that
incomparable observer." By 1841, Fabre had escaped from the poverty of
his boyhood and had qualified as a pupil teacher at the Normal College
at Vaucluse. Later, he became Professor of Physics and Chemistry at the
_lycée_ of Ajaccio and, by 1852, held a similar position at Avignon. The
greater part of his life was spent in the study of insects. The results
are recorded in several volumes. An interesting _Life_, written by the
Abbé Augustin Fabre and translated by Mr. Miall, was published in 1921.

"The Pea Weevil," which offers an example of the exposition of a process
achieved by impersonal narration, should prove especially helpful in
showing the student how interest may be secured in such work.

The J.W. BUTLER PAPER COMPANY, which published the little volume from
which the selection is taken, is recognized as an important factor in
the industry.

"Modern Paper-making" may be utilized in teaching the emphasis placed on
chronological order in the impersonal narration of a process; the
explanation of machines by generalized description in such narration;
and the methods employed in explaining alternate or parallel steps in
the process.

WILLIAM JAMES (1842-1910), like his equally distinguished brother,
received his elementary education in New York City and in Europe. From
1861 to 1863, he studied at the Lawrence Scientific School, Harvard
University, leaving to join the Thayer Expedition to Brazil. He was
graduated in 1870 from the Harvard Medical School and, two years later,
was appointed Instructor in Anatomy and Physiology. In 1885, while
Assistant Professor of Physiology at the Medical School, he was
appointed Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University. His
later work at the University is well-known. Among his published works
are his _Principles of Psychology_ (1889); _The Will to Believe_ (1897);
_The Varieties of Religious Experience_ (1902); _Pragmatism_ (1907);
_Memories and Studies_ (1911); and _Essays in Radical Empiricism_
(1912). His _Letters_, edited by his son, appeared in 1920.

"The Gospel of Relaxation" offers a model in the adaptation of
scientific material to a lay audience, through the way in which the
author makes clear the Lange-James Theory by concrete examples and
practical applications.

CHARLES PROTEUS STEINMETZ (1865-), born in Breslau, Germany, was
educated at Breslau, Berlin, and Zurich. For twenty-five years he has
been Consulting Engineer to the General Electric Company, and for twenty
years Professor of Electro-physics at Union University. Besides several
authoritative volumes on subjects within his field, he is the author of
_America and the New Epoch_ (1906) and is a frequent contributor to
literary as well as to technical journals.

"Science and Religion" may be used to show the student how even so
technical a topic as the Einstein Theory may be rendered concrete for
the general reader through analogy and specific examples.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Book of Exposition" ***

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