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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 29.djvu/152

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

of the air; the increased number of hours of open-air exercise permitted; and the improved hygienic surroundings of the patient. An ideal health resort for consumption "should be sparsely and newly settled. It should possess a pure water-supply and adequate drainage. It should be of a dry and porous soil, and should be favorably situated with respect to neighboring heights and marshes and prevailing winds. It should be equable in temperature and should possess the maximum of pleasant weather. It should not be so hot as to be enervating, nor so cold as to prevent out-door exercise and proper ventilation of the houses. It should afford plenty of amusement; it should not be crowded with consumptives, and it should be sufficiently unfashionable to admit of hygienic dress. Above all, it should afford suitable accommodations for the invalid."

 

Intelligence of Swallows.—Professor Grant Allen, speaking of swallows, says that no other race has lived in such close connection with man and yet learned so little from his companionship. Still, they show some signs of intelligence. In making the mud walls of their nests, for instance, they allow each layer to dry thoroughly before proceeding to top it by another course. In acquiring the habit of building in chimneys, which has been carried to swallows by the westward course of civilization, they exhibit some faculty of adaptation. As a rule they place their nest five or six feet below the top of the chimney, to keep it out of the way of owls, not directly over the kitchen-fire, but over an adjoining flue. And it requires some art to get down into the shaft. The emergence of the young swallows from this place is a remarkable instance of intelligent action still wavering on the brink of mere hardened instinct. As soon as they are strong enough to move, the chicks clamber rather than fly up the perpendicular shaft, by beating their wings "in some ineffectual compromise between a flop and a flutter." Often they fail and fall crushed to the hearth. Then, having reached the summit, it is some time before they venture upon flight, and they acquire the art only by degrees as it were. Mr. Romanes has collected a few yet more unequivocal cases of intelligence in swallows. In one case a bell-wire, on which a swallow's nest partly rested, twice demolished it. Convinced that it was a dangerous object, they constructed a tunnel for the wire to pass through, and were troubled by it no more. In another case a pair of swallows were molested by sparrows trying to dispossess them of their nest. They thereupon modified the entrance to their home, so that, instead of opening by a simple hole, it was carried on outward in the form of a tunnel. Instances are recorded where several swallows have combined to drive away sparrows which had robbed a pair of comrades of their nest.

 

A Pony Champion.—"Land and Water" has a remarkable story of a pony which saved its master from destruction by a savage dog. The master, a clergyman residing in a lonely neighborhood, was going, with the pony, a retriever, and a Dachshund, while obeying a call to visit a sick parishioner in the night, past a shepherd's cottage where a very fierce dog was kept. This dog, having got loose, made an attack on the party, trying the retriever first and then the Dachshund. The pony became frightened, and the master dismounted, when the dog turned upon him. The affair became very serious for the clergyman; the Dachshund had been put out of the combat, the retriever had hid behind the hedge, and he had to keep up the fight alone, with no other weapon than a riding-whip. Then he "heard a scampering, and the next moment the faithful pony rushed up and darted so suddenly between the combatants that the dog turned tail and fled, evidently thinking the pony to be a larger and dangerous edition of himself. The gallant little fellow pursued the cur until he was fairly chased back to the cottage-door. Then he returned quite docile to his master, and the friendly quartet were able to continue their way in peace and safety once more."

 


NOTES.

A reproduction in phototype of seventeen pages of a Syriac manuscript, containing the epistles known as the "Antilegomena," is to be published by the Johns Hopkins University, under the editorial supervision