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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/163

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153
HOW OLD IS THE EARTH?.

never sought caresses. He was always serious, never in the least playful or sentimental. Any new proposition he always takes seriously. He expects the worst, and scowls and shows his teeth until the matter is thoroughly understood, when he usually becomes indifferent.

One day the children vexed him overmuch, and breaking his chain he came out among them. They fled in consternation, all but the younger one, who was a brave little knight and who stood his ground, though at the cost of a serious biting.

And thus it came that after two years of freedom Bob has returned to the curiosity shop in Kearny Street—not the one on the right as you go up Pine Street, but the other one, where the red-tailed parrots scold and swear, and among whose oaths you may hear all the varied languages of the south sea islands. And there in a little iron cage he remains cramped and unhappy. All day long he rolls back his sneering lips, shakes the cage by pulling against the bars, and swings himself to and fro, trying to overturn the cage and cast it on the floor. And here he waits till his ransom is paid again. Fifteen dollars, I believe, is the sum at which it is fixed. Whoever does this will open for him the door to another series of adventures.

 

HOW OLD IS THE EARTH?
By Prof. WARREN UPHAM.

WITHIN the memory of men now living, and especially during the last thirty years, the processes of the creation of the earth and its inhabitants, of the solar system, and of the starry heavens, have come to be understood in a very different way from that in which they were thought of by our fathers and forefathers. Instead of the former belief that divine fiats at successive times suddenly spoke into existence the forms of animal and plant life now occupying the earth, the earlier faunas and floras found fossil in the rocks, and at still earlier dates the earth itself, the sun, and the entire astronomic universe, it is now recognized and confidently accepted on all sides that all animals and plants, the globe which we inhabit, and the sun and stars, have been created through slow processes of development, which are well denominated evolution—that is, an unrolling or unfolding. These changes have been in progress during unnumbered and inconceivably long ages; they are still going forward; and they will probably continue as far into the unfathomable future as they have come to us through the dimly and in part somewhat clearly discerned past. To us who are borne upon its bosom this current