Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/567

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Editor Popular Science Monthly:

SIR: In the May (1890) number of the Monthly Dr. W. A. Hammond, in his article on Sumptuary Laws, makes statements with reference to the prohibitory liquor laws of Iowa which are not only misleading but incorrect.

It is not an offense under our law "for one person to ask another to take a drink." It is not contrary to law in Iowa to give intoxicating liquor to an adult person not intoxicated nor in the habit of becoming so, when such gift is made without any consideration being received or expected in return, and without subterfuge or attempt to evade the provisions of the code. The act of giving intoxicating liquors, except to minors or habitual drunkards, is not prohibited by statute, and the Supreme Court has decided that the simple act of giving is no offense (State vs. Hutchins, 74 Iowa Rep., p. 20); and so in the case supposed by the doctor there is neither a violation of the letter nor the spirit of the law.

It may be added, however, as pertinent to the point made by the doctor, that Iowans may legally obtain all the liquor they want by importation from other States; and that, notwithstanding the most stringent laws against its manufacture and sale within the State, it is not difficult to purchase any kind of liquor either by the drink or by the bottle; and that it is at least doubtful if the drink habit is decreasing.

James H. Trewin.
Lansing, Iowa, May 12, 1890.


Editor Popular Science Monthly:

Sir: The interesting article in your June number, by the Hon. David A. Wells, on evidences of glacial action in southeastern Connecticut, recalls to my recollection the fact of similar evidence in the State of Virginia. Slightly north of latitude 38°, in the extreme southeast corner of Orange County (my native county), on a farm—originally, and I presume still, known by the name of Wood Lawn, or the Minor Farm—are two large bowlders, similar to those described by Mr. Wells. One of these bowlders is split in half; one half retains an erect position, while the other lies prostrate, forming a large, flat table. I speak of them as they appeared many years ago, although I presume their appearance is the same to-day. There are other bowlders of a like character in that vicinity, and, if they were visited and described by one competent to do so, a very interesting article might be written, and perhaps prove a valuable addition to the science of glacial action.

Francis Minor.
St. Louis, June, 1890.



AS we had occasion not long ago to remark, the philosophy of evolution is a great stumbling-block and rock of offense to transcendentalists—that is to say, to people who want a philosophy founded on emotion and soaring beyond all experience into the region of the absolute. If such people do not like the evolution philosophy, it is natural that they should dislike the evolution philosopher par excellence, Mr. Spencer. His name seems to send a chill through those whose ambition it is to discover truth by some royal road of a priori assumption; and now and again these persons take courage to express all the repugnance they feel to what they regard as his desolating doctrines. Occasionally, also, though not very often, an attempt is made to show that Mr. Spencer is not so much of a philosopher after all—only a kind of all-round writer on a great variety of subjects, in not one of which he has any superior competence. Many of our readers will remember that some weeks ago a certain person wrote to the New York Times to express his own low estimate of the value of Mr. Herbert Spencer's philosophical work, and his grave doubts as to the rank assigned to him in the world of thought by really competent judges. This gentle-