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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 36.djvu/516

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

capital, interest, taxes, etc. Of course, they have all had their attention called to the single-tax doctrine. It has been “in the air” for ten years, and it is their business to know all the discoveries in their science, just as it is that of astronomers to know all the finds of new comets and satellites. If any one of them, either in Europe or America, has given his adhesion to the doctrine, I have not heard of him. All who have taken the trouble to give any opinion about it have spoken adversely. It can not be said that they are afraid to speak their real sentiments; most of them are free-traders, and nothing has been more unpopular than free trade, although that tide appears now to be turning. If the single tax contains the germ of truth, is it not a little remarkable that no member of the profession should have perceived and acknowledged it?

 

CHINESE SILK-LORE.[1]
By General TCHENG-KI-TONG,

SECRETARY OF THE CHINESE EMBASSY AT PARIS.

THE time of the hatching of silk-worms in China always corresponds with the first thunder of spring. As soon as the detonations are heard, a watch is set upon the eggs, which have been carefully made ready beforehand for the occasion; and the appearance of the larvæ may usually be counted on within five days, more or less.[2] Thunder at this season is the sign of that condition of electrical movement in the air which is produced artificially in Europe to hasten the hatching, by means of a shower of sparks.

For the protection of the mulberry trees, the raising of poly-voltines, or worms that hatch several broods a year, is forbidden

  1. From an address given at the Orange Garden of the Tuileries, during the exhibition of Useful and Injurious Insects.
  2. The Emperor Yu, called the Great, ascended the throne 2205 b. c, and reigned twenty-seven years. He founded the second dynasty and completed the civilizing work of the Emperor Hoang-Ti, of whom he was a descendant. He divided each of the signs of the zodiac into two equal fractions of 15. The farmers observe with the greatest attention the manner in which the several parts of this cycle follow one another, and prognosticate concerning meteorological phenomena from them. The observations made at Zi-ka-wei by Father Dechevrens do not lead us to suppose seriously that there was any foundation for this superstitious meteorology. The date of the entrance of the sun into each of these twenty-four divisions was indicated by that of the Chinese New Year. According to the calendar for 1888, as marked out by Bishop Perney's table, the 14th of February was the date for the opening of spring; February 29th, for rain; March 15th, for the hatching of silk-worms; March 31st, for real spring, etc. There is nothing absurd in the idea of a connection between the first electrical phenomena and the hatching of the worms; for the early electrical phenomena are usually associated with an atmospheric temperature favorable to such changes.