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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

sounds, speak with the accent of their country; and he believes that, as they have never heard any one speak, their peculiar accent can only proceed from their having organic conformations like those of their parents. M. Hément is supported by a communication from Mr. W. E. A. Axon, published in "Nature." M. Emil Blanchard, contradicting this view, cited the example of a French-speaking Chinaman with whom he had talked, who had no trouble with his r's; and he suggested that the question could not be considered satisfactorily solved till a number of children of people speaking peculiar idioms had been separated from their parents from birth, and taught to speak a single language. Mr. A. Graham Bell has communicated a paper to the "Academy," stating that, in observing the pronunciation of at least four hundred deaf mutes whom he had taught to speak, he has never remarked any tendency of the kind described by M. Hément. In some cases, it was true, dialectic accents could be detected; but he has always found, on investigation, that such children had been able to speak before they became deaf. M. Hément declares that his opinions are not shaken by Mr. Bell's observations, and even professes to find in them new arguments in support of his own theory.

 

Insect Enemies cf Forest and Shade Trees.—Dr. A. S. Packard, Jr., of the United States Entomological Commission, Las published a valuable report on insects injurious to forest and shade trees, which is intended, not so much to embody the fruits of any original research, as to give a summary of what is up to this time known of the habits and appearance of such insects as are injurious to the more useful kinds of trees. The amount of knowledge we have on the subject is really scanty enough, and the report is, therefore, largely a simple list of the insects that live upon our more important forest-trees. The matter is eminently worthy of the attention of farmers and gardeners and others, who have the opportunity and are competent to make intelligent investigations relative to it and inform naturalists of what they find out; and such persons are invited to communicate the substance of their observations to the commission. Much has been done in France and Germany, both of which countries possess valuable illustrated works on forest insects. Kaltenbach, in his work on the insect enemies of plants, describes astonishing numbers of insects as found-on some kinds of forest-trees, only a comparative few of which are, however, particularly destructive. Thus, 537 species are injurious to the oak, and 107 are obnoxious to the elm; the poplars afford a livelihood to 264 kinds; the willows yield food to 396 species, the birches harbor 270, the alder 119, the beech 154, the hazel-nut 97, and the hornbeam 88. Among the coniferous trees, the junipers supply 33 species, and 299 species prey upon the pines, larches, spruces, and firs collectively. In France, Perris has observed more than one hundred species either injurious to the maritime pine or living upon it without being especially injurious to it. The number known to attack the different kinds of trees in the United States is sufficiently large to excite great fears for the future prosperity of our diminished forests unless some means are found to check their increase, and the subject of forest entomology is becoming one of really great importance.

 

Domestication of Wild Ducks.—Mr. Charles Linden has made report to the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences of the experiments which Mr. George Irwin, of Mayville, on Chautauqua Lake, has been conducting for more than thirty years in the domestication of several species of wild duck. A suitable lot of about an acre in extent, on the edge of the lake, was fitted up with protecting sheds and nesting-places, and stocked from time to time with eggs for hatching, ducklings, and old birds. The pin-tail and American swan freely bred and raised their young in the inclosure, without anymore restraint than was necessary for safe-keeping, but were never fully domesticated, nor even transferred from the breeding-pen to the barn-yard. The dusky duck and mallard, which proved most tractable for domestication or complete metamorphosis into tamed barn-yard fowl, resisted all efforts for this purpose if they were transferred to the pen when one year old, but were readily tamed when they were raised from eggs or capt-