Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/731

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

follow, a sound knowledge of geography and the physical condition of the earth is necessary; and instruction in this direction should form an important feature in any educational course of commercial geography. The great problem of the future is the inland carrying trade, and one of the immediate commercial questions of the day is, Who is to supply the interiors of the great continents of Asia and Africa, and other large areas not open to direct sea traffic? It is not altogether impossible to foresee the lines which inland trade must follow, and the places which must become centers, or to map out the districts which will be dependent on those places. These questions as to a part of Central Asia may have been partly solved by a voyage. which Mr Wiggins made last year. Acting upon a conviction which he had reached by a strict method of induction, that the Gulf Stream passed through the straits into the Kara Sea, and, acting with the floods of the Obi and Yenisei, would free that sea from ice and keep it open for navigation during a part of each year, he sailed to Yeniseisk, some two thousand miles up the Yenisei, within a few hundred versts of the Chinese frontier, and landed his goods there. The science of commercial geography is not confined to a knowledge of the localities in which those products of the earth that have a commercial value are to be found, and of the best markets for them. Its higher aims are to divine, by a combination of historical retrospect and scientific foresight, the channels through which commerce will flow in the future, and the points at which new centers of trade must arise in obedience to known laws.


The Underground Waters of England.—In a paper on the underground waters in the permeable formations of England, Mr. E. E. De Ranee said that the remarkable drought that that country experienced during 1887 had brought out in strong relief the advantage of public water-supplies being drawn from underground sources, where the rainfall of wet periods is not only stored in the sandstone rocks, but is delivered filtered from organic impurity and at a constant equable temperature. Notwithstanding the unprecedented period of dry weather, the public wells of Liverpool, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Southport, Nottingham, South Staffordshire, and the Staffordshire pottery works gave their daily supply undiminished, while the gravitation works of the Manchester corporation and the whole of the east Lancashire towns were on short supply, and in some instances failed altogether. The levels taken at a well at Booking, in Essex, for several years, showed that the water-level was uplifted by the Essex earthquake of April 22, 1884. This acquired level was gradually diminishing, at a rate which would bring back the original level by August, 1888.


Chinese Names.—The Chinaman bears his father's name; the woman, on marrying, takes her husband's name and adds her father's to it. Thus, when Miss Wang marries Mr. Ly, while she might usually be called Mrs. Ly, she must in formal acts sign herself Ly-Wang. People of the lower classes have names the character of which varies in different places. In Pekin, a number answers the purpose, and we have for Mr. Chang's sons, the elder Chang, second Chang, third Chang, etc. At Canton they add ah and a surname, and we have Chang-ah-brave and Chang ah-honest, if it is a man; Chang-ah silver, Chang-ah-pearl, if it is a woman. In Fuhkien they double the character and give Chang-stone-stone, Chang-great-great, etc. When a youth goes to school, his teacher selects a name for him consisting of two characters, such as "Five Stars," "Long Life," or some other fantastic designation; but only the teacher and the other pupils can use this surname. As soon as a young man is married, his own friends or the friends of his wife's family give him a name which is used only by members of the agnatic family; but this custom is not very faithfully observed. When a person presents himself for the public examinations, or is seeking a position, he usually chooses a name composed of two characters, which becomes the only name under which he is officially known. A person who has never been to school, is not married, and never obtains an official position, can only have his family name and his regular surname, according to the custom of the province. The school and marriage names being of little importance, persona may be classed, generally, according to their