Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 53.djvu/445

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FRAGMENTS OF SCIENCE.

ian, Mr. Scudder says, has numerous closely related allies in all parts of the United States, many of which often abound to such an extent as to do serious damage to crops, and a few of them have been known to migrate in a similar fashion to the Rocky Mountain species. The Melanopli are almost exclusively an American group. A single genus is represented in the Old World, north of 35° north latitude. With that exception, almost all the genera and species of grasshopper are in North America; although four genera, not described by Mr. Scudder, with twenty-four species, are found in South America. Eleven of the North American genera, with nineteen species, live exclusively in Central America and Mexico, passing the border of the United States only narrowly, and these countries also make two South American species at home. Six genera range over twenty degrees of latitude; two are known only in Florida. Most of the genera are Western; four are peculiar to the Mississippi Valley; three are found on opposite sides of the continent, and are therefore presumed to range over the whole of it; five are characteristic of the extreme West; and four are confined, or nearly so, to the region north of latitude 35°. For the purpose of his essay, Mr. Scudder examined nearly eight thousand specimens, of which about seven thousand belonged to the single genus Melanoplus.

 

The Invention of Printing.—From a recent number of The Chap Book we learn that the much-discussed question of who invented printing has been recently reopened by Gilliodts-van-severén, curator of the Archives of Bruges, who claims that a Jean Brito, of Bruges, printed from movable types before Gutenberg or Coster. The volume on which this claim is based, which is now in the Bibliothèque National at Paris, is an edition of the Doctrinal of Jean Gerson, the celebrated chancellor of the University of Paris, who died in 1429. There is no date on the volume, but on the last page are some Latin verses, the literal translation of which is something as follows: "Notice the beauty of this present writing; compare this work with other works; put this book by the side of another book; see with what neatness, with what care, with what elegance, this impression is made by Jean Brito, bourgeois of Bruges, who discovered without teaching from any one his marvelous art, and as well his astonishing implements, no less worthy of admiration." In 1773 the Abbé Ghesquière called attention to these verses, but the two schools of Mayence and Haarlem, which had narrowed the controversy down to Gutenberg and Coster, refused to admit a third competitor. M. Gilliodts-van-severén, who has reopened the controversy, has written a large volume on Brito. He has discovered many new documents in support of the latter's rights and much interesting matter concerning his life.

 

Women opposed to Woman Suffrage.—The energetic pressure of the agitation in favor of woman suffrage has met its natural reaction in the organization of women opposed to having the duty of voting thrust upon them. An association of this kind was formed in Massachusetts about fifteen years ago and had the satisfaction of seeing a woman-suffrage measure defeated by popular vote in 1895. The New York State Association opposed to the Extension of Suffrage to Women was formed in April, 1896, and now has a standing committee of more than one hundred women, twenty thousand members, and branches in some of the large cities. The Illinois association, formed in May, 1897, has issued a circular defining the position and motives of the women who have taken this stand, and answering some of the arguments that have been put forward in favor of woman suffrage. Exclusion from the franchise, the circular says, does not imply inferiority, but division of qualities. "A little reflection shows that the kind of intelligence which the lawmaker should possess, the knowledge of the practical things of the outside world, such as currency, banking, the franchises granted to corporations, the general control of vast commercial and manufacturing interests, with other details of practical life, not easily enumerated, are affairs which lie almost wholly within the domain of man, and which it would be a sad waste of energy for women in general to become familiarly acquainted with. . . . Does it therefore follow that women are on the whole inferior to men? By no means. In her own domain, which includes the most