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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

pearance of mute expectation. At every other morning, as well as at evening, they had to be sought and brought to the bars for milking. Sometimes I would forget to take the salt with me at the stated time, when, instead of moving off to feed after my task was done, as they usually did, they remained about the spot an hour or so, as if waiting for their weekly rations of salt.

Here, then, is the problem: Every Sunday morning these cows came of their own option to the place of milking, and where on that day they generally got salt, and not on other mornings. How could they do that, except through some faculty of estimating the seven days of the week? If "the dog distinguished Sunday by some features that were peculiar to it," we can not say the same of the cows in question. They were isolated from the outer world, away from any thoroughfare, and saw no one but myself from one week to another and from one month to another. So far as we can judge, one day was like all days excepting Sunday, which they might have called salt-day, had they possessed the faculty of speech. How did they note that cycle of time, to be there on that morning and not on any other morning?

A. S. Hudson, M. D.
Stockton, Cal., September 1, 1888.
 


EDITOR'S TABLE.

 

THE MORALITY OF THE FUTURE.

ONE of the most interesting papers read at the recent meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science was one upon "Altruism considered economically," by the Vice-President of the Section of Economic Sciences, Mr. Charles W. Smiley. The drift of Mr. Smiley's address, which may be read in our present number, was to the effect that the impulse to do good to others at the cost of sacrifice to one's self was one that required careful watching and discipline, as otherwise it would be very likely to prove more harmful than beneficial. The more we study the operation of the fundamental laws of nature, the more clearly we see how essential they are to all healthy living; and how little upon the whole is gained, and how much is lost, in the effort to transcend them in the name of higher principles. Thus, self-preservation is the first law of all animated life; but some have thought it worthy only of the brute creation, and have preached in its stead the law of self-sacrifice. Doubtless, as Mr. Smiley admits, there have been times in the history of the world when there was pressing need for the preaching of self-sacrifice as a corrective to the selfish and unscrupulous pursuit of personal ends; but the time has now come in our modern civilized communities when it should be seen that the highest service any man can render to the community is not to devote all his goods to feed the poor, or perform any other signal act of self-denial, but to practice justice and labor to strengthen the characters of those around him. Self-sacrifice as a principle is wanting in logic, seeing that it implies the gain of one through the loss of another. We have had in the past, and still have, numerous institutions that have sprung from the idea of self-sacrifice; and, with a large portion of the community, it is a fixed idea that only acts involving self-sacrifice can have any merit. But experience is showing more and more that those who are supposed to stand in need of all this voluntary benevolence derive but little real advantage from it; that, on the contrary, it further weakens their already defective characters, and tends to make their condition one of chronic and constitutional dependence on the assistance of others.

How is it, we may ask, that, in spite of all that is done for the poor in the way of charity, the demand for charity is annually greater and more pressing? The object of giving help ought to be to raise the recipient above the need of help; but this result is manifestly not being accomplished. For one charitable fund that existed a generation ago there exist at least five to-day; and almost every week something new is started, look-