Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/362

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.



horror from treading on a black beetle, but is only too satisfied to hear that the cook has exterminated the "vermin" by poison or boiling water. But lately an excellent example of a personal sensitiveness being mistaken for compassion has been witnessed in the case of the sale of the elephant. If the word of the Council of the Zoölogical Society can be taken as true, it was believed that "Jumbo" would be far happier traveling among his kin than leading a life of solitude in London. Yet, in spite of this statement, all the kind-hearted people have been sending their subscriptions to enable the society to forego its bargain, since they and their children can not bear to part with their favorite. It is like the frequent example of a mother preventing her son taking the voyage prescribed for the benefit of his health because her feelings can not allow her to part with him.

After eliminating all that is irrelevant and false, the question between experimenters and anti-vivisectionists appears to be a simple one. The latter declare that experiments are attended with great cruelty, and the results are of little or no good; they should therefore be disallowed. The former deny the truth of the proposition, and maintain that it is tyranny to put in force the power of the law to prevent a few, a very few, men of known reputation as trained physiologists performing occasional experiments, often unattended by pain, for the sake of advantages which they believe to be enormous. To endeavor to make vivisection a question of ethics, when moral considerations are altogether and confessedly ignored in a thousand other instances, is clearly illogical, and obviously prompted by an undue bias. In other words, the selection of the so-called standard of "morality," or of the "rights of animals," by which to measure the permissibility of physiological experimentation, is undeniably a prejudgment of the real point at issue.—Contemporary Review.


By W. O. AYRES, M. D.

BORAX is now well known to occur in very many of the salt-springs in the Coast Mountains of California. But in only two places has it been found in large quantities: these are Borax Lake and Hachinhama (pronounced Hah’-chin-ha’-ma), both being in the immediate vicinity of Clear Lake, about eighty miles north of San Francisco.

Borax Lake is a shallow pool intensely of alkaline water, without inlet or outlet, and of course its extent depends on its reception of rain-water. After an exceptionally wet season it has a length of perhaps a mile and a half, with a depth of eight to ten feet; after an excep-