Appletons’ Popular Science Monthly, March 1899 / Volume LIV, No. 5, March 1899

Appletons’ Popular Science Monthly, March 1899 / Volume LIV, No. 5, March 1899


Author: Various
Science — Periodicals
Technology — Periodicals
Appletons’ Popular Science Monthly, March 1899
Volume LIV, No. 5, March 1899
Established by Edward L. Youmans


NOVEMBER, 1898, TO APRIL, 1899

Copyright, 1899,

Vol. LIV.Established by Edward L. Youmans.No. 5.
MARCH, 1899.


I. The Evolution of Colonies. VII. Social Evolution. By J. Collier. 577
II. Politics as a Form of Civil War. By Franklin Smith. 588
III. My Pet Scorpion. By Norman Robinson. (Illustrated.) 605
IV. The Peoples of the Balkan Peninsula—The Greek, the Slav, and the Turk. By Prof. William Z. Ripley. (Illustrated.) 614
V. Marvelous Increase in Production of Gold. By Alexander E. Outerbridge, Jr. 635
VI. The California Penal System. By Charles Howard Shinn. (Illus.) 644
VII. The Scientific Expert and the Bering Sea Controversy. By George A. Clark. 654
VIII. A School for the Study of Life under the Sea. By Eleanor Hodgens Patterson. 668
IX. Science in Education. By Sir Archibald Geikie, F. R. S. 672
X. Shall we Teach our Daughters the Value of Money? By Mrs. George Elmore Ide. 686
XI. Sketch of Clémence Royer. By M. Jacques Boyer. (With Portrait.) 690
XII. Editor’s Table: Words of a Master.—Fads and Frauds 699
XIII. Scientific Literature 704
XIV. Fragments of Science 712


Single Number, 50 Cents.Yearly Subscription, $5.00.

Copyright, 1898, by D. APPLETON AND COMPANY.
Entered at the Post Office at New York, and admitted for transmission through the mails at second-class rates.


MARCH, 1899.




Perhaps there is no civilized institution to which, man has accommodated himself with so ill a grace as monogamy. Hardly a perversion of it has ever existed but may still be found. Polygamy is widely spread in the most advanced communities; temporary polyandrous ménages à trois are known to exist elsewhere than among the Nairs and Tibetans and ancient Britons; the matriarchate in one shape or another may be detected well outside the sixty peoples among whom Mr. Tylor has discovered it; and marriage by free choice is far from having superseded marriage by capture or by purchase. It is the less surprising that abnormal or ancient forms of the union should have been revived in colonies. In this relationship, as in most others, the colonist, like the sperm cell after its junction with the germ cell, sinks at once to a lower level, and the race has to begin life over again. The fall is inevitable. The earliest immigrants are all of them men. Everywhere finding indigenes in the newly settled country, they can usually count on the complaisance or the submissiveness of the tribesmen. Native women have a strange fascination for civilized men, even for those who have been intimate with the European aristocracies and have belonged to them. Adventurous Castins might find their account in a relationship that was in perfect keeping with the wild life they led. It is more strange that, enslaved by an appetite which sometimes rose to a collective if seldom to a personal passion, educated men, with a scientific or a public career flung open to them at their option, able men who have written the best books about the races they knew only too well, men of great position whose heroic deeds and winning manners made them adored by women of their own race, should have spoiled their prime, or inextricably entangled themselves, or wrecked their own roof-tree and incurred lifelong desertion by the wife of their youth. The bluest blood of Spain was not contaminated by an alliance with the Incas, but just ten years ago the direct line of an ancient English earldom was extinguished among the Kaffirs. The truth seems to be that while a woman will not as a rule accept a man who is her inferior in rank or refinement, a man easily contents himself for the time with almost any female. The Bantu woman and the Australian zubra are not alluring, but they have never lacked suitors. Colonial women shrink (or profess to shrink) from the Chinaman; all colors—black, brown, red, and yellow—seem to be alike to the undiscriminating male appetite. Yet it has its preferences. The high official who stands unmoved before the cloudy attractions of the Zulu, surrenders at discretion to the soft-voiced, dark-eyed, plump-limbed daughters of Maoriland. In the last case a perverse theory (of the future amalgamation of the races) may have been “the light that led astray”; it certainly was used to justify their acts to the consciences of the doers. Romance had its share: Browning’s Waring (who was premier as well as poet) threw a poetic glamour over the miscegenation, as another minister found in the race the Ossianesque attributes of his own Highlanders. It sometimes, even now, rises into passion: the colonial schoolmaster who marries a native girl will declare that his is a love match. But the chief reason at all times was “the custom of the country.” “It was the regular thing,” remarked an old legislator, looking ruefully back on his past. Nor is it to be harshly censured. Corresponding to the Roman slave-concubinage which Cato Major did not disdain to practice, it repeated a stage in the history of the mother country when the invading Angles allied themselves (as anthropology abundantly proves) with the native Britons. While making a kind of atonement to the indigenes, it was a solatium to the pioneer colonists for a life of hardship and privation.
A higher grade was the concubinage of convictism, which was with women of the same race and was capable of rising into normal marriage. In the early days of New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land it seems to have been almost universal, and it lasted for many years. Not one in ten of the officials lived with his legally married wife. In the latter colony it was suppressed by the governor, who ordered them to marry the women by whom they had families. In the former, if Dr. Lang’s account of his exertions is accepted, it was put down by the exposure of guilty parties. It was accompanied by other features of a low social state. The public and private sale of wives was not infrequent. The colonial equivalent for a wife, in the currency of those days, was sometimes four gallons of rum, or five pounds sterling and a gallon, or twenty sheep and a gallon; one woman was sold for fifty sheep.
Around gold and silver mining encampments nondescript relationships of a slightly higher order arise. They are with free women, though the women are apt to be of the same class as Bret Harte’s Duchess of Poker Flat, answering to the Doll Tearsheets of hardly more civilized communities. They often issue in marriage. In mining townships, and even in colonial towns, professional men are to be found married to unpresentable women.
In colonies of regular foundation normal marriages are contracted under difficulties. Few women at first go out, the emigrants intending to return when they have made their fortune. Women have accordingly to be sent. In the seventeenth century a number of girls of good repute were persuaded to emigrate to Virginia, a subscription being raised to defray the cost. In the following century wives were sent to settlers in French Louisiana on the same plan. To French Canada women were dispatched by shiploads. They were selected (according to Parkman) as butchers choose cattle: the plumpest were preferred, because they could stand the winter best and would stay at home. In Virginia women were offered for sale to eager colonists, who willingly paid one hundred pounds of tobacco for one, or as much as one hundred and fifty pounds for a very pretty girl; a debt incurred for the purchase of a wife being considered a debt of honor. In the early days of Canterbury, New Zealand, when a consignment of servant girls arrived, young farmers would ride over the Port hills and carry them off, though in the style rather of young Lochinvar than of the Sabine rape. Settlers have often requested the agent general for the colony or the mayor of their native town to send them out a wife. Wives so easily acquired are apt to be lightly parted with, and within the last few years, in colonial villages, amicable exchanges have been effected—one woman going with her children to the house of another man, whose wife and children made a reciprocal migration. Facts such as these (which might readily be multiplied) show how easily so-called civilized man sloughs off the conventions of ages and sinks to a primitive level. They soon disappear, however, and social colonial conditions rapidly assimilate themselves to those of the mother country. In most young colonies marriage is universal and it is early. After a few days’ acquaintance couples rashly engage themselves, in utter ignorance of one another’s character or of their own, and a precipitate marriage follows, with such results as might be expected. Statistics show that the age of marriage on the part of women is steadily rising. In the early days of each colony a girl was deemed passée if she did not get married before she was twenty-one. In the decade that ended the first century of New South Wales the proportion of married women under that age fell from 28.17 to 23.55 per cent; in less prosperous Victoria, after only half a century, it fell from 21 to 17.4; in New Zealand there was a big drop from 29.4 to 19.7. The proportion of married women under twenty-five has also seriously declined. The decrease is noticeably correspondent with the increased number of young women who are gaining their own livelihood—largely as teachers and typewriters. On these lines the colonies are following the lead of the mother country. Long engagements, followed by late marriages with fewer children, take the place of short engagements with hasty marriages and larger families. Female celibacy is no longer dishonorable, and women are beginning to understand that they may be far happier single and self-supporting. The quality of marriage improves with its rarity. When an Australian M. A. marries an M. A., or the most brilliant of New Zealand professors marries one of his most distinguished students, we feel, as when a Dilke marries a Pattison, that the ideal of the union has been realized.
The growth of the colonial house follows the development of the family and repeats the history of the race. The immigrant procures his abode, as he afterward buys his clothes, ready made. The ancient troglodyte lives to-day in the Derbyshire cave dweller; the original Romanist settlers of Maryland were driven to take refuge in cave houses in Virginia; and the New Zealand hermit, like “great Pæan’s son” at Lemnos, “weeps o’er his wound” of the heart in a cave by the resounding sea. Where they can not be found ready dug they can be excavated, as they were by some early Pennsylvania colonists. Others in Virginia, New York, and New England found it easier to dig holes in the ground, thus imitating the Germans of Tacitus, whose winter residences are also repeated in those basements which form the wholesome abode of the London domestic servant. The wattle-and-daub house of the Anglo-Saxon villager has been everywhere reproduced in the colonies, and may still be abundantly found.
If the occupation of caves and the burrowing of holes suggests man’s distant affinity to the carnivora and lower quadrupeds, his simian origin is confirmed by the use he makes of the tree. In the infant city of Philadelphia there were “few mansions but hollow trees.” A rude form of tent is the next stage, the canvas consisting (as may still be seen among the poorer campers-out) of clothes or rags. Then, as in the early days of Sydney, the tents were covered in with bushes and thatched over. Next (as may to-day be observed in the neighborhood of Coolgardie) a framework of branches is employed to support the canvas, and the tent is converted into a cabin. A stride toward the house is taken when the branches are replaced by a regular woodwork, with doors and windows; the envelope being still sometimes canvas, which is soon replaced by corrugated iron. The Brazilian country house where Darwin lodged sixty years ago was built of upright posts with interwoven boughs. Another line of development starts from the trunk of the tree. The early American colonists made bark wigwams. The Australian pastoralist “erected a temporary house, generally of large sheets of bark, in the first instance.” In countries where the winter is more severe or the bark less substantial, the backwoodsman builds, as the early colonist built, a rude cabin of round logs. Then the logs are hewn, or they are split or sawn into planks, and built into the weatherboard houses still common in the rural parts of Australia, and general even in New Zealand towns. In their earliest stages they are still without a floor and are roofed with thatch or shingle. Towns often thus remain like early Sydney, “a mere assemblage of paltry erections intermediate between the hut and the house.” The architecture is of the simplest. A “butt” and a “ben,” with a “lean-to,” form the prevailing type. As the family grows or its wealth increases, new portions are added, till many colonial houses look for all the world as if they had “come out in penny numbers.” Even with a few stately structures—luxurious mansions, extensive government offices, Gothic parliamentary buildings—a wooden city has an indefinable meanness of appearance. It is improved out of existence by the dread agency of fire. Like Charles’s London, New Orleans and many another colonial town have thus had an Augustan renewal. Houses are now built of brick, stone, or concrete; tile, slate, and iron replaced thatch and shingle; two stories were ventured on; chimneys were smaller but safer. They became susceptible of architecture: Spanish features were introduced into those of New Orleans; the more northern colonies copied the English country house, with modifications to suit the hotter or colder climate; and in New South Wales a taste for mansion-building came into vogue along with splendid equipages, liveried servants, and pedigrees. Such houses were at first arranged in all degrees of irregularity and confusion. The street is a modern invention. The cows returning from pasture laid out Boston, and the bullock teams climbing up from the harbor charted Sydney. Towns in manufactured colonies, as Savannah, Augusta, most South American cities, Christchurch and Invercargill in New Zealand, were planned before settlement and have their streets at right angles.
A hundred years ago Talleyrand, exiled in the United States, described the journey from one of these cities to the interior as successively exhibiting all past stages of the human habitation from the mansion to the tent, and just a century later one of Talleyrand’s countrymen, M. Pierre Leroy-Beaulieu, traveling in the reverse direction, from “the bush” to Coolgardie, witnessed the gradual transformation of the tent into the two-storied hotel. A great part of the history of the race in the matter of habitations is thus museumed in the space of a few miles.
If the temple rises out of the tomb, is modeled on that, and remains to the last pre-eminently a place of sacrifice, the church is an enlarged dwelling house. It is the house of the god, as the fetichist called it—the house of God, as we still reverently call it; and in Romanist countries to this day it is in a manner the abode of two divine personages, who figure as dizened and painted dolls that are named respectively God and the Mother of God! Both lines of development are rapidly recapitulated in colonies. The temple appears as the cathedral, which has modest beginnings, but gradually assumes the architecture and proportions of Gothic cathedrals, losing relation to the primary wants of the worshipers—comfort and audibility—ministering mainly to their higher needs, and if used for preaching at all, reserved for such occasional and sensational pulpit oratory as that of Dominican monks like Lacordaire at Notre Dame in Paris, or of a Protestant Dominican like the late Canon Liddon at St. Paul’s in London. The church, chapel, or meeting house may be found in colonial villages in its most rudimentary form, scarcely distinguishable in style from a dwelling house. According to the sect it belongs to, it develops in one of two opposite directions. The age of cathedrals is past, even in Roman Catholic countries, but the tendency of Anglican and allied churches is to simulate the old cathedral; high ritualistic sections mimic the gorgeous Madeleine. The more liberal denominations, on the other hand, develop downward; the colonial Baptist tabernacle is on the lines of Spurgeon’s great building at Newington, but the ancient pulpit is widened into a platform and the seats slope upward as in a concert hall; it is a mere auditorium, in which the preacher is all. The development in this direction finds its extreme in the secularist hall, which is a mere concert room, with a piano in place of an organ. The ceremonial development is on the same lines—toward the gradual adoption of ancient rites by the older churches, toward more freedom in the younger sects. Many a colonial clergyman has wrecked himself or his congregation through too much ritualism; a few have injured themselves through an excess of liberalism.
A parallel evolution takes place in church government. Where an organized settlement is made on political principles, congregations carry their minister with them, or rather the ministers carry their congregations. Where the colony is normally founded and grows up as the mother country grew, the first ministers, like the first preachers of Christianity itself, are often laymen. In an interior county of Virginia Morris read every Lord’s day to his neighbors from the writings of Luther and Bunyan, and a meeting house was at length built for him; it is a typical instance of the beginnings of most churches. The part of laymen remains long prominent in colonies. The

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Appletons’ Popular Science Monthly, March 1899 / Volume LIV, No. 5, March 1899
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