Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/581

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characteristic mammal of the torrid, sandy, desert region south of the Gila River, where it lives in immense colonies in chambers excavated under the greasewood-roots. Such sites seem to be selected for the sake of the support afforded by the fine roots of the greasewood for the domes of their habitations. Without some such support the light and loose soil would cave in at once. Large, low mounds are formed over the burrows in which many holes are provided for ingress and egress. In some parts of Arizona these mounds are frequently seen in open, grassy places, and are usually large and high. The animals are shy; they sit up erect at the entrance of their burrows, like prairie-dogs, and like them dodge in at the sight of a stranger. When surprised away from home they try to skulk unobserved to their holes, nervously glancing at the observer. But they become less shy when accustomed to the neighborhood of man. Mr. Mearns adds to his description in curiously learned language which becomes expressive when translated, that "although eminently fossorial, this animal is endowed with latent scansorial proclivities, which are brought out by the sight of food in elevated situations. In other words, they will climb for mesquitebeans."


The Circle of Civic Evolution.—The modern, civilized state is developed, in Mr. John A. Taylor's view, as expressed in his address on its Evolution, from the germ that lay dormant in the rude elements of government that existed in the past—as the Cologne Cathedral, completed only a few years since, has been built in exact fulfillment of the conception of its unknown architect, six hundred years ago. Our American commonwealth, based on the idea of government by the governed, expressed at its birth the highest type to which the state had then evolved. This evolution, from all the attempts at government in the past, has been inseparably accompanied and verified by the continual uplifting and expansion of manhood as a type. Now we find that evils have been developed within our system which threaten its existence, and appear to be dragging down "manhood as a type": they are most conspicuously manifested in the cities, but exist through the whole political body. They are very numerous, but may be generalized under the terms corruption and bossism. Public interests are made an affair of trade, and are openly used for private advantage; and no measure, however important and beneficial, can be secured unless it can be made profitable to the ring of practical politicians. Everything has fallen into the hands of the leaders of the great political parties, who manage the parties and the community alike at their will, while the people appear to look on helpless. If the people are competent to govern, as our Constitution supposes, why do they not right matters? Mr. Taylor's answer to this question is not wholly confident; but he suggests that the rapid advance we have gone through in wealth and invention, with our constantly changing environments, have engendered problems of which the framers of our Constitution never dreamed; and that, having delegated our right of choice to the politicians, we have reached an epoch in the evolution of the state when the art and science of government are left in abeyance, and the best thought and effort of our time are given to other pursuits. Yet he has hope for our government, and offers the suggestion that "at some time, perhaps in the far-distant future, the state will have evolved into an entity of purely delegated as distinguished from representative powers"—which will look much like a return to monarchy and lords.


Judge-made Law.—Mr. Rufus Sheldon, in his paper on the Evolution of Law, argues that so much of the law as is defined by the decisions of the courts is made by judges. "That judges make law," he says, "is not explicitly stated in the text-books. In fact, it is not generally admitted that they have any part in law-making; the theory being that there is somewhere a store of ready-made law, consisting of rules and precedents, where the judges somehow find what they want after the lawyers have searched for it in vain, and then expound and apply it with plenty of comment and obiter dicta, but no addition." But it often occurs that, if any determination of right or liability is made, it must be made by the court; as must happen in every instance where judgment is given in a case different from any to be found in the reports—and just in proportion