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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

so ignorant in most things, came, it was said, from their sincerity; they believed in the part they were playing, while the actor knows he is an actor. Our inquiry among the world of comedians has not confirmed these theoretical views. In the first place, we are not convinced that an actor of genius would be so inferior to a poor hysteric on whom the same part had been imposed by suggestion; and then this question of sincerity seems to us now susceptible of a very large number of gradations. We can not affirm that an actor plays without believing; it is true that when he has returned to his dressing room and has put away his burden and become himself again, he no longer believes in the personality of his character, although he may still retain a part of it; but in the scene, in the heat of the action, he may be moved on account of this artificial personage. The artistic emotion of the actor exists, it is not an invention; it is lacking in some, while in others it rises to paroxysm. Now, is not emotion an essential element of sincerity? In short, we believe there is no radical difference, only a shade, between the actor and the subject of suggestion.—Translated and condensed for the Popular Science Monthly from L'Année Psychologique, vol. iii (G. E. Stechert, New York).

 

SKETCH OF JAMES CROLL.

IN awarding the Wollaston medal of the Geological Society of England to Mr. James Croll in 1872, President Prestwich spoke of the additional value Mr. Croll's labors had in the estimation of the society from the difficulties under which they had been pursued, and the limited time and opportunities he had had at his command. Prof. A. C. Ramsay, accepting the medal for Mr. Croll, said that he was all the more deserving of the honor from the circumstance that he had risen to the place he had among men of science without any of the recognized advantages of scientific training, having won his position by his own unassisted exertions. Mr. Croll indeed pursued the work which he carried to an achievement that marked an era in geology under disabilities and in the face of difficulties that would have deterred and disqualified any but a man of the highest ability and most vigorous energy.

James Croll was born, the second of a family of four sons, at Little Whitefield, parish of Cargill, Scotland, January 2, 1821, and died in Perth, December 15, 1890. His father was a stone mason, "mild, thoughtful, and meditative, and possessed of strong religious and moral sentiments"; his mother was firm, shrewd, and observing, and gifted with a considerable amount of "com-