freshly painted buildings retained the marks of the shower for several weeks. The deposit was noticed at places more than fifty miles distant. Mr. J. W. Hollingswortb, of Paoli, Orange County, Indiana, informed me that the fall there was very abundant. I intended at the time to write some account of the remarkable shower, but being then busy I neglected it. My attention was recalled to the matter by an account in "Nature" (April 15th), of a similar shower about the same date, on the opposite hemisphere. Dr. Thomas C. Van Nuys, Professor of Chemistry in the State University, has kindly furnished me the following partial analysis:
Silica, SiO2, 64∙95 per cent.; ferric oxide, Fe2O3, 5∙39 per cent.; alumina, Al2O3, 10∙20 per cent.; calcium oxide, CaO, 1·53 per cent.
|Yours very truly,|
|Bloomington, Indiana, June 24, 1880.|
WE can not congratulate the English on the treatment of the international copyright question by some of their eminent authors. It was but the other day that we had to point out the lack of good sense exhibited by Matthew Arnold in his very complacent discussion of the subject; and now comes a blast from Wilkie Collins which, although it does not amount to much, is still a perverse and unhelpful utterance. The reputations these men have are certainly not justified by their outgivings in relation to this important measure.
Mr. Collins writes for the "International Review," and is very indignant at the American "thieves" and "pirates" by whom he is "robbed." He seems to think that the main thing now is to brand these rascals indelibly; and so, to insure the full effect of his reproaches, he stipulates with the editors that not a denunciatory word shall be omitted from his paper; and they declare in a note that the said words are every one there, while "they must disclaim all responsibility for the language adopted by him in his argument."
Considerably more is made of this point than it is worth. There is obviously nothing new about it, as excoriating adjectives have been abundantly applied to us before by suffering authors. Nor is there anything objectionable in it; on the contrary, we are glad to see Mr. Collins "call a spade a spade," and mete out to those who steal his books the reprobation they deserve. Strong words are needed to characterize gross wrongs, and we agree that this is a case that calls for them. Mr. Collins is right in venting his righteous indignation in the most telling terms he can command: we only regret that he has been unable to give some freshness and new pungency to his invective.
But, when Mr. Collins gets through with his feeble vituperation, and comes to the practical question of what is to be done, he is then far less satisfactory. As a scold he is commonplace enough, but as a guide to lead us out of difficulty he is without qualification. To his diatribe we say "amen"; to his reasoning we say, "it won't do." He here betrays lack of judgment, and shows himself to be impracticable. We agree "with him that there is a palpable and vicious wrong to be set right; but the question is, how to accomplish it. The wrong requires to be defined and limited, that we may know precisely who suffers by it, and what must be the nature and extent of the remedy. The wrong here is, that the American Government does not protect the rights of foreign authors to property in their books; and, as that property is unprotected, it is appropriated by anybody who chooses to take it. Mr. Collins has an undoubted right to be thus protected, and, if he