Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/860

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a reasonable length of time, no one came to supply his wants he would utter a sharp, impatient bark.

His happiest moments were when his master would ask him if he wanted to go out walking, and he would express himself very forcibly and unmistakably in the affirmative, and would, if asked at such a time, go to each member of the family, stand upon his hind legs, and give them each a kiss; or, if his master said to him, "Roll over, if you want to go walking," he would at once lie down and roll completely over.

But his reasoning or thinking powers were more clearly manifested in connection with a rubber ball with which he played, and which he would leave in various nooks and corners. When asked, "Where is your ball?" he would, if it was not in plain sight, bend his head down and stand for a moment as if in deep thought, and then proceed at once to get it, sometimes making a quick dive under the lounge, or in a bedroom, under the bed, or behind the curtains that separated the dining from the sitting room, always returning with it, and would look up into one's face, his very countenance intelligent with the answer, "Here it is."

His master generally putting him to bed at night, he usually lay upon the lounge, waiting for the time; and, after the fires had been replenished and the clock wound, he would get down and be ready to go. He invariably waited until the winding of the clock before preparing to start.

In an evil hour "Gyp" strayed away from home one day, and came back a badly used-up dog. He had evidently been attacked by some larger dog or dogs, and after lingering for nearly two weeks he died from the effects of the bites.

During this time he seemed really more like a "human being" than a brute. He was most patient and grateful for all the kind offices and helpfulness of his master and mistress, and heroically submitted to have his wounds washed and medicated, and, although at times scarcely able to walk, he insisted on being where his friends were, or where he could see them.

J. Andrew Boyd.
Ashley, Luzerne County, Pa.


Editor Popular Science Monthly:

"The early Puritans of New England, who enacted the most ferocious of blue-laws, who would not let a man step over a stone in his path, or kiss—not his neighbor's but his own wife—on a seventh day," etc.

The above is a quotation from the very first page of an article, in the last number of The Popular Science Monthly, entitled Abolish All Prohibitive Liquor Laws, by Appleton Morgan. Now, these mythical blue laws never had any existence; no law forbidding a man to kiss his wife on the seventh day was ever on the statute-books of any New England colony. Prof. Johnston's History of Connecticut, in the American Commonwealths Series, or Palfrey's History of New England, will show the origin of this absurd myth. A glance at Blue Laws, and the Rev. Samuel Peters, in either Appletons' or Johnson's Cyclopædia will perhaps be enough for the ordinary reader.

Such careless misstatements naturally cause the reader to question the accuracy of the entire article. As you say in your editorial comments on the "young moon" error, "writers, and particularly writers on scientific subjects, are under obligations to know what they are talking about."

Charles E. Davis.
Washington, February 20, 1894.



WHEN a condition of things supervenes in which a considerable percentage of the population is cut off from the means of support by lack of work, we need not hesitate to say that something is wrong. We are not much in the habit of attributing purpose to Nature; but the language of teleology is sometimes convenient, and we shall perhaps not be misunderstood if we say that the apparently enforced idleness of thousands of men, with all the poverty and distress thence resulting, can not be part of Nature's plan, or at least can not illustrate the normal working of natural law. Nature, we know, is severe in her methods, and recks little of human life when she sets her forces of fire and flood, of storm and earthquake in motion. There is nothing analogous to these catastrophes in the social phenomena before us to-day. What we see is not the sudden extinction of human