Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/547

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wings of light. As we watch them in their courses, the true music of the spheres comes to our listening ears, the chorus of creation—faint with distance, for it is by slow approaches that man draws near to it—chanting the grandest of epics, the Poem of the Universe; and the theme that runs through it all is the reign of law. Do not be afraid to become a star-gazer. The human mind can find no higher exercise, lie who studies the stars will discover—

"An endless fountain of immortal drink
Pouring unto us from heaven's brink."



THE absolute necessity of maintaining a certain standard of purity in food-products, has led, in most of the States, to a comprehensive and somewhat stringent legislation concerning adulteration. Particularly is this the case as regards the products of the dairy. The official inspection busies itself with both the qualitative and quantitative value of these articles. Of all the foods supplied directly by Nature, milk is the only one which contains all the elements of nutrition in the relative proportions required by man, and in a form easy of digestion; it is therefore the food best suited to young children and invalids—persons who can ill afford to have their food tampered with in any way. This consideration, together with the universal use of the article, has determined the adoption of a system of public inspection in nearly all of our larger cities. The States of Massachusetts, New York, and Michigan have given particular attention to the honesty of the milkman, and the standards of quality and methods of analysis established by their public analysts have been generally adopted by chemists all over the country. Yet, in spite of the vigilant eye which is thus constantly watching this department of the farm, pounds of butter weighed according to a system of units not recognized in the arithmetics, milk which contains an abnormal percentage of water, and cream whose composition will not bear investigation, are daily sold in the market-places of both city and country.

But there are, of course, two sides to the question. Not unfrequently the milkman is accused entirely without cause. There are few housekeepers who do not sincerely believe, in spite of an other-wise general faith in mankind, that he, at least, will bear watching. The analyst, however, is a perfectly unprejudiced person. He cares little for the protestations of the vender, or the suspicions of the customer. He simply says, "Your milk should have such and such a specific gravity; it should contain such and such percentages of fat, of other hydrocarbons, of mineral salts, and of water: if it contain