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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/280

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what is being done to make honest citizens? We know lots of smooth-spoken individuals who are very scrupulous about various matters—much interested perhaps in Sabbath observance; strongly opposed to certain forms of amusement for the young; grieved, possibly, to think that there are people bad enough to hope for the salvation of unevangelized heathen—there are plenty such; but where are the people who hate a lie when they see one, and that without regard to the question as to whose interest is served by it? Where are the men who do not want sophistries served up to them in their favorite newspaper, and who are at all times willing to allow fair weight to a fair argument? In this wide land there are doubtless many thousands who have not bowed the knee to the Baal of political trickery, and who have not imprisoned their souls in any narrow and arbitrary scheme of moral doctrine; but, compared with other types, these are few in number. We meet the man full of church-taught scrupulosities ten times for once that we meet a thoroughly open-minded, honest man. We meet the man who is terribly afraid of doctrinal errors ten times for once that we meet the man who detests the campaign lie. Now, there is nothing to be said against scrupulosity in conduct, nor in favor of doctrinal errors; but falsehoods, the makers of falsehoods, the willing beneficiaries and condoners of falsehoods, and all who leave out of their scheme of life the duty of opposing falsehoods in all their shapes and guises can not be too strongly condemned.

Where is the remedy for this dangerous national habit of political lying? It is to be sought in a reorganized national education. Instead of filling the minds of children with fables, as to a large extent we do, we need to cultivate in them the sense for reality by teaching them to know things in their properties and relations, and natural processes in their definiteness and certainty. In other words, science has to take hold of education and remodel it, until it gives us a generation of citizens too intelligent and with too practiced a sense for truth to fall the easy prey that so many thousands now do to the arts of the political trickster. One may be excused for doubting whether at this moment the political honesty of our nation is really on the increase; but we shall hope that the time may come before very long when science shall do for politics and for morality what it has done for our knowledge of the physical world and of human nature, and give us a regenerated state, the outcome of an intellectually nobler type of manhood.




The great thirty-six-inch telescope of the Lick Observatory has not only more than satisfied the most confident anticipations of what it would be able to do, it has taken the astronomical world by surprise with its revelations. It is not too much to say that it has opened up new vistas of creation, and given to the eye of man so much wider and deeper a range in the universe that, as Prof. Holden, the director of the observatory, has remarked, when looking through this telescope the observer must view objects as if seen for the first time. Celestial phenomena present an appearance, in many cases, so different from that familiar to observers with less powerful instruments that the impression they make is entirely new.

Of course, primarily, the great size and exquisite figuring of the giant object-glass must have the credit for all this, and yet much (very much more, probably, than the general public imagine) is due to the director and his able assistants. Prof. Holden has applied the unrivaled equipment of Mount Hamilton Observatory to the observation of the heavens in a broad-minded way that is decidedly refreshing and encour-