Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 47.djvu/841

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

these birds will fly in a circle, on the lookout for game, in the direction toward which they are dispatched by command, or by the course of the horsemen. When one of them perceives a hare, he aims for it, in order to fall headlong upon it, trying to strike it with his claws or with his beak. If the animal does not remain still and the dash is therefore a failure, the bird re-ascends and tries his manoeuvre over again, calling at the same time to his comrades. They respond, and dash in turn at the game till it is dispatched. If it escapes after it has been missed and succeeds in hiding itself, the birds describe circles as dogs do on similar hunts, and the one which finds it first calls to the others.

The Turkistan birds hunt each on his own account, and are indifferent about seeking game that they have missed. In a few instances, where wealthy proprietors have large packs, the birds have been taught to hunt together and to rally to one another; but such cases are exceptional.—Translated for The Popular Science Monthly from the Revue Scientifique.


MAN'S progress toward civilization has been by no royal road. His every step has been met by opposing influences, some of them inherent in Nature, others in the conditions of the social organism, whose action is to prevent any rapid or continuous development. He has, on the other hand, been helped by numerous agencies, some of them such as seem by no means adapted to become aids to civilization. Of these, unlikely as it may appear, the most important and effective has probably been that of war, an agent usually looked upon as simply destructive, but which is, as I hope to show, largely constructive in its effects.

It may seem to many readers absurd to speak of war as a helpful agency in civilization. It is the general impression that a state of profound peace, with its consequent agricultural and mechanical industries, is most conducive to human advancement. Warfare is usually looked upon as simply destructive, and as destitute of any redeeming feature; and yet I venture to claim that all the civilizations to-day existing were in their origin largely the results of ancient wars; and that peace, in the long past of the human race, was almost a synonym for social and intellectual stagnation. The views usually entertained as to the comparative advantages of peace and war apply only to our own enlightened age, and are not wholly correct even now. As applied