Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 17.djvu/699

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was a purpose always present to the minds of the founders of the Royal Society, and some preliminary steps toward its execution were even attempted by them. Bishop Sprat[1] has left on record the "queries and directions, what things are needful to be observed," composed with this view. Some of these inquiries sound, to our instructed ears, rather comical. We take the following specimens:

Whether diamonds and other precious stones grow again after three or four years, in the same places where they have been digged out?

Whether there be a fountain in Sumatra which runneth pure balsam?

Whether in the island of Sambrero there be found a vegetable with a worm for its root, diminishing more and more, according as the tree groweth in greatness?

What ground there may be for that relation concerning horns taking root and growing about Goa?

Whether there be a tree in Mexico, that yields water, wine, vinegar, oyl, milk, honey, wax, thread, and needles?

The answer to this last query, furnished to them by one of their "merchants of light," was, that "the Cokos tree yields all this and more."

The disproportionate importance attached to this species of information by the revivers of science is curiously illustrated by the fact that the funds of the Royal Society having been exhausted in printing Willughby's "History of Fishes," they were obliged to decline undertaking the publication of Newton's "Principia." Indeed, one of their most ingenious members was as fully convinced as Bacon had been, that the true highway to that knowledge which is power lay in this direction. Of this remarkable person it is now time to give some account.—Edinburgh Review.

[To be continued.]


THE system of night instruction is so widely different in Europe and America that the following statistics are given with a view to show which of the two methods, as represented by the schools of New York and Paris, has been most successful and of most practical utility to its students.

At the present time there are in the city of New York thirty-two free evening schools. Thirty-one of these are primaries or intermediates for children; the remaining one is the evening high school, which

  1. "The History of the Royal Society of London," 1667, p. 158.