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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

race, nor change by absorbing it. Intermixture of the white and colored is destined, probably, to play a greater rôle than it now does; and this new race—for new it is—may greatly enlarge its proportion of numbers on American soil, but it is not to be expected that it will transcend in moral and intellectual elevation. It is probable that this mixed race which is forming in our country has greater capabilities than it generally gets credit for. In some respects its moral and social qualities may be quite as desirable in a race of mankind as the corresponding qualities in white men; but in intellect, in fertility of resource, in that which furthers progress and renders society and civilization exalted and refined, it is not likely that any compound with a fraction of Caucasian blood in it, will be equal to the Caucasian himself. In intellect, which, with Draper, we must regard as the leading and highest faculty of mind, it is not likely that any mixture of African blood, with all the advantages of development it may have, will ever equal the historical Teuton. And there is less to be hoped from the colored race in this country, because its progenitors on the African side are a low type even of Africans, as one of the race candidly admits (Rev. Edward W. Blyden, "a negro," "Eraser's Magazine"). Education may do a great deal, especially the education of practical life in connection with the more gifted Teuton; but with this spread of the colored element, if it should still continue, while it may itself experience a considerable degree of elevation, there must come a lowering, through this agency, of the average psychological level, and this can not take place without affecting the general tone of society. And it will so affect society, not only because of the relative gain of numbers, if that should be, but, paradoxical as it may seem, by virtue, also, of a certain degree of improvement which is above the lowest, but does not reach the highest, whereby the colored element will obtain a power in society, which, with fewer numbers and greater moral subordination, it did not before have. Then, indeed, will there be need of a "strong government," or, perhaps, it should rather be said, then will it be easy to establish a strong government.

 

ABOUT COMETS.
By AARON NICHOLS SKINNER,

UNITED STATES NAVAL OBSERVATORY, WASHINGTON, D. C.

THE study of astronomy reaches back to the very beginnings of history, and through all the ages the ablest intellects have been directed to the wellnigh impossible task of unraveling the celestial motions. The terrestrial observer not being located at the center of the motions of the solar system, the complexity arising from this com-