Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/878

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

back over his shoulder, like a frightened baby," and covered himself with his piece of carpet. Then his fear gave place to pleasure, and he sat down, with smoothed hair, and listened to the music. The piccolo at first frightened him, but he soon held out his hand for the instrument and was allowed to examine it. "The flute did not interest him, but the bagpipes—reproduced on the violin—achieved a triumph." The capuchins were busy eating their breakfast; "but the violin soon attracted an audience. The capuchins dropped their food and clung to the bars, listening, with their heads on one side, with great attention. The keeper drew our notice to the next cage. There, clinging in rows to the front wires, was a silent assembly of a dozen macaques, all listening attentively to the concert which their neighbors were enjoying. At the first sounds of the flute most of these ran away; and the piccolo excited loud and angry screams from all sides. Clearly, in this case, the violin was the favorite." When the flute was played to the elephant, he stood listening with deep attention, one foot raised from the ground, and its whole body still. "But the change to the piccolo was resented. After the first bar, the elephant twisted round, and stood with its back to the performer, whistling and snorting and stamping its feet. The violin was less disliked, but the signs of disapproval were unmistakable." The deer were strongly attracted by the violin, and showed equal pleasure at the tones of the flute. The ostrich seemed to enjoy the violin and flute, though it showed marked dislike at the piccolo. "The ibexes were startled at the piccolo, first rushing forward to listen, and then taking refuge on a pile of rock, from which, however, the softer music of the flute brought them down to listen at the railing. The wild asses and zebras left the hay with which their racks had just been filled; and even the tapir, which lives next door, got up to listen to the violin; while the flute set the Indian wild ass kicking with excitement. But the piccolo had no charms for any of them, and they all returned to their interrupted breakfasts." A sleeping tiger was awakened by the soft playing of the violin near its cage; listened to the music for a time "in a very fine attitude," then "purred," lay down again, and dozed. At the first notes of the piccolo, it "sprang to its feet and rushed up and down the cage, shaking its head and ears, and lashing its tail from side to side. As the notes became still louder and more piercing, the tiger bounded across the den, reared on its hind feet, and exhibited the most ludicrous contrast to the calm dignity and repose with which it had listened to the violin. With the flute, which followed, the tiger became quiet, the leaps subsided to a gentle walk, and coming to the bars and standing still and quiet once more, the animal listened with pleasure to the music."

 

The Observatory at Arequipa, Peru.—Prof. Pickering, of Harvard Observatory, is well satisfied with the advantages of the South American branch observatory near Arequipa, Peru, eight thousand feet above the sea. During a large part of the year, he says, the sky is nearly cloudless. A telescope having an aperture of thirteen inches has been erected there, and has shown a remarkable degree of steadiness in the atmosphere. Night after night atmospheric conditions prevail which occur only at rare intervals, if ever, in Cambridge. Several of the diffraction rings surrounding the brighter stars are visible, close doubles in which the components are much less than a second apart are readily separated, and powers can be constantly employed which are so high as to be almost useless in Cambridge. In many researches the gain is as great as if the aperture of the instrument was doubled. The observatory is also favorably situated with reference to the southern stars, most of which can not be seen at all from the United States.

 

Ashamed, yet Faithful.—We have received from Dr. John S. Flagg, of Boston, a curious incident illustrating the operation of something like a moral sense in a dog. One rainy morning in October, 1891, Dr. Flagg observed a setter dog in front of himself, slinking along with his tail and head depressed, and his whole gait one of dejection. He proved to be following a seedy-looking man in a state of reeling intoxication. Being impressed that the dog's trouble was caused by shame at the intoxication of his master and the attention he was attracting,