Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 51.djvu/532

This page has been validated.
518
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

public place, but at home, in a comfortable Dutch interior; but he is not without skillful accomplices—the matron, his habitual assistant, with her cunning expression, and the urchin who laughs at the humbug of the thing, as he passes the pebbles which the crafty charlatan causes to roll over the neck of the suffering patient.

The scene represented in Jerome van Achen's picture (Fig. 3) would be considered less grotesque were it not for the fantastic dress and appearance of the operator; his robe, his cap, down to the curious stool he stands upon—all are extraordinary. The quiet figure of the patient is no less so. Surely, if any such stones had been taken from his head as the other doctor is showing to the assistants, it must have been with the aid of a local anaesthetic. He beams with as happy an expression as if a most grievous pain had just gone away from him by enchantment.

M. Meige has collected more than a dozen pictures representing these operations for stone in the head.—Translated for the Popular Science Monthly from La Nature.

 

A LILLIPUTIAN MONSTER.
By ROBERT BLIGHT.

IN front of a sunny window there stands, on a small bamboo table, an aquarium of very unpretentious appearance and size. It is nothing more than a "globe," such as is used for goldfish. In the bottom are a couple of inches of river sand, with a thin layer of gravel, which was repeatedly washed before it was placed there. Planted in the sand is a plant of water starwort, as well as one of anacharis, while on the surface float a few plants of duckweed; and two or three water snails complete the arrangement. Around the rim of the globe is tied a string on which is threaded a screen of dark-green material, which can be drawn so as to shade the globe or to admit the sunlight at pleasure.

Occasionally I amuse myself by fetching a pailful of water from the stream that runs through the meadows; and as I take up the water I give the grass and water weeds a good shake to get whatever creatures may be hiding there. I have provided two pieces of glass tubing of equal diameter—one about two feet in length, the other only some fourteen inches; and these I have bent nearly double by the heat of a spirit lamp. Thus equipped, I change some of the water. I place a footstool or a pile of books covered with a newspaper on the table, so as to get a surface as high as the top of the globe. On this I place a "Mason jar,"