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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 19.djvu/269

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THE MENTAL EFFECT OF EARTHQUAKES.

acid and lime, not much more than good spring-water, and perhaps an almost infinitesimal trace of copper, so slight as only to be detected in a large quantity of the substance. I do not doubt but that glucoses have been sold which contain large quantities of free sulphuric acid and likewise other injurious ingredients. But these are due to carelessness in manufacture, and are not constituents of the genuine article. I have never found a glucose of this kind. Many of the impurities which have been imputed to glucose, really belong to the cane-sirups with which they have been mixed. These largely adulterated glucoses should always be looked upon with suspicion. The cane-sirups, which are used for this purpose, yield from three to five per cent, of ash, while the ash from a genuine glucose is so little as to be almost unweighable.

There is no reason to believe that a glucose or grape-sugar properly manufactured is any less wholesome than cane or maple-sugar. Corn, the new American king, now supplies us with bread, meat, and sugar, which we need, as well as with the whisky which we could do without.

 

THE MENTAL EFFECT OF EARTHQUAKES.

THE outbreak of new earthquakes, first at Agram, then in Ischia, and now in Chios, the last the most destructive of all, and costing thousands of lives, within a few weeks of each other, seems to show that a period of earthquake-shock may have begun which may affect, to an extent by no means inconsiderable, the history and life of our century. No one can doubt that the earthquakes and volcanic eruptions which visited the same general region, but more especially Asia Minor and Italy, during the first and second centuries of our era, produced great effects, not only on the minds and characters of that generation, but even on the distribution of population; nor that the earthquake at Lisbon, in the last century, produced almost as great a shock on the thoughts of men as it produced physically on the immense region over which its effects were felt—a region which included almost all Europe, part of Africa, and part of the American Continent. A spell of earthquake of any violence or duration, which should extend over such a field as that, would, in a time like our own, when every influence is intensified by the simultaneous transmission of the impressions it produces to all parts of the globe, produce the most powerful effects, not simply on the countries which might suffer from it, but on all the world. No physical phenomena, however dreadful, seem to produce the same sense of paralysis as earthquakes. A correspondent of Captain Basil Hall, who was in the earthquake of Copiapo,