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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 26.djvu/846

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

verted into the living material of the animal itself before it does any work, and therefore it must be the wear and tear of the machine itself which supplies the working-power, and not that of the food as mere fuel-material shoveled directly into the animal furnace.

I therefore agree with Playfair, who says that the modern theory involves a "false analogy of the animal body to a steam-engine," and that "incessant transformation of the acting parts of the animal machine forms the condition for its action, while in the case of the steam-engine it is the transformation of fuel external to the machine which causes it to move." Pavy says that "Dr. Playfair, in these utterances, must be regarded as writing behind the time." He may be behind as regards the fashion, but I think he is in advance as regards the truth.

My readers, therefore, need not be ashamed of clinging to the old-fashioned belief that their own bodies are alive throughout, and perform all the operations of working, feeling, thinking, etc., by virtue of their own inherent, self-contained vitality, and that in doing this they consume their own substance, which has to be perpetually replaced by new material, the quality of which depends upon the manner of working, and the matter and manner of replacement. We may thus, according to our own daily conduct, be building up a better body and a better mind, or one that shall be worse than the fair promise of the original germ. The course of our own evolution depends upon ourselves, and primarily upon the knowledge of our own physical and moral constitution, and their relations to the external world. Of such knowledge even the humble element supplied by "The Chemistry of Cookery" is one that can not be safely neglected.—Knowledge.

 

INTERNAL ARRANGEMENT OF TOWN-HOUSES.
By ROBERT W. EDIS, F. S. A.

GOOD planning means not merely the arrangement of a certain number of rooms on a certain number of floors, but careful and close attention to the general domestic requirements and arrangements of the ordinary householder, and to all smaller details which make up the comfort and convenience of the house. It means that every foot of space shall be properly laid out, that there shall be no dark corners, and no inaccessible places, and that every room, closet, and staircase shall have ample light and ventilation, and that staircases shall be conveniently arranged, easy, with broad landings, and of sufficient width to allow of passing conveniently.

Each room has to be considered, and its relative proportion and position in the plan. The dining-room, or general eating-room of a house, should be so arranged that, although above the kitchen-level,