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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

mouse, and the cow. One of the months returns twice, and that is the thirteenth of the year. Each month has thirty days, and the week has seven.

The priests are greatly respected on account of their spiritual functions, and they exercise a great influence upon the whole population. It is these who are specially addressed to fix the day propitious to celebrate marriage, or to point out the kind of funeral proper for a person dead. In this last circumstance they conform to the rank, more or less important, of the deceased, or, to speak more correctly, to the greater or smaller number of sheep which the relations offer for the khouroul. The more liberal the offering, the more distinguished is the sepulture. But, since the rich have more means for making offerings, their bodies are ordinarily destined to be burned, while the corpse of a poor man is simply interred, or even abandoned in the midst of the steppe, to become the prey of wild animals.

The principal evil arising from this great influence of the priests over the Calmuck population is, that it is opposed to every civilizing effort; this is why all the attempts of the government to convert the Calmucks to Christianity, and to induce them to abandon their nomad life, have hitherto almost entirely failed. Moreover, the nature of the country occupied by the Calmucks is greatly opposed to their being able to establish themselves in colonies.—Anthropological Review.

 

THE BALANCE OF LIFE IN THE AQUARIUM.
By SHIRLEY HIBBARD.

WHEN man looks upon Nature, he sees everywhere the records of death's work among the representatives of creative energy. The stratified rocks are but the tombstones in the great graveyard of the world; they cover the bones of a million generations, and their inscription is, "The dust we tread upon was once alive." If the infusion of life into countless forms, each in itself perfect, needed nothing less than Almighty power, it needed Almighty power too to complete the scheme in the institution of dissolution; and the grim king of terrors, before whom the bee and the sparrow tremble, perhaps, not less than man, became co-worker with God by a wise and beneficent appointment; and so the orders of being began, and have to this hour continued, as a series of dissolving views, in which there is no hiatus, but only change; no shifting of the focus or the screen, no aberration or intermission of the source of light, but an unending variety in the pictures. We know not how other worlds may fare, but this we know, that here death supplies from every extinguished picture the colors