Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 3.djvu/694

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"The Italian naturalist, Filippi, discovered, in the blood of silkworms affected by this strange disease, pébrine, a multitude of cylindrical corpuscles, each of about 1/6000 of an inch long. These have been carefully studied by Lebert, and named by him Panhistophyton; for the reason that, in subjects in which the disease is strongly developed, the corpuscles swarm in every tissue and organ of the body, and even pass into the undeveloped eggs of the female moth. The French Government, alarmed by the continued ravages of the malady and the inefficiency of the remedies which had been suggested, dispatched M. Pasteur to study it, and the question has received its final settlement. It is now certain that this devastating, cholera-like pébrine is the effect of the growth and multiplication of the Panhistophyton in the silkworm. It is contagious and infectious, because the corpuscles of the Panhistophyton pass away from the bodies of the diseased caterpillars, directly or indirectly, to the alimentary canal of healthy silk-worms in their neighborhood; it is hereditary, because the corpuscles enter into the egg. There is not a single one of all the apparently capricious and unaccountable phenomena presented by the pébrine, but has received its explanation from the fact that the disease is the result of the presence of the microscopic organism Panhistophyton. M. Pasteur has devised a method of extirpating the disease, which has proved to be completely successful when properly carried out."



PROBABLY astonishment would make the reporters drop their pencils, were any member of Parliament to enunciate a psychological principle as justifying his opposition to a proposed measure. That some law of association of ideas, or some trait in emotional development, should be deliberately set forth as a sufficient ground for saying "ay" or "no" to a motion for second reading, would doubtless be too much for the gravity of legislators. And along with laughter from many there would come from a few cries of "question:" the entire irrelevancy to the matter in hand being conspicuous. It is true that during debates the possible behavior of citizens under the suggested arrangements is described. Evasions of this or that provision, difficulties in carrying it out, probabilities of resistance, connivance, corruption, etc., are urged; and these tacitly assert that the mind of man has certain characters, and under the conditions named is likely to act in certain ways. In other words, there is an implied recognition of the truth that the effects of a law will depend on the