Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 53.djvu/736

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after season as in Iowa, but the climate is more favorable for winter grazing, and there are many valuable species of native forage plants. In the semiarid regions of northeastern Colorado, the areas that were at one time cultivated have been allowed to revert to grasses, and the region has become famous as a stock country and is seemingly prosperous. In the country north of this, though the rainfall is limited, there are thousands of acres of fine meadow and grazing lands covered with a dense growth of grama grass. A large number of native grasses occur along irrigating ditches and streams, and many of them are highly nutritious. In the mountain regions, the foothills and higher mountain slopes produce a large number of valuable grasses, increasing in variety and richness with the ascent. Cattle are raised for beef, and dairying is carried on at the lower altitudes.


Our Native Gems.—From Mr. G. F. Kunz's report on the production of precious stones in the United States during 1896 we learn that true rubies have been found in the Corvee Valley, Macon County, N. C, in a manner of occurrence new to science, along with some very beautiful almandine garnets, corundum, gold, and other minerals of value. The best ruby crystal so far obtained weighs about six and a half carats. The sapphires in Montana have already been mentioned in The Monthly. Many fine crystals of beryl of gem value were found in Topsham, Maine, one twelve inches long and two inches in diameter. Other beryls were found at Hampden, Md., and Bakersville, N. C. A topaz was found in Idaho, about one hundred miles north of Boise, and other topazes at Thomas Mountain and Simpson Springs, Utah. Tourmalines continue to be found at Paris, Maine, Haddam, Conn., and Waynesville, N. C. Olivine chrysolite and peridot are reported from Webster, N. C.; several varieties of garnet in Tulare County, Cal.; quartz crystals with fluid inclusions in Herkimer County, N. Y.; thousands of pounds of crystals of quartz in three counties of Arkansas, and other quartz near Cheyenne Pass, Wyoming, Whitehaven, Pa., at Autauga, Ala., and in Tulare County, Cal.; and quartz of different varieties at localities in North Carolina, Idaho, the Black Hills, New Mexico, and Washington; rutilated amethyst crystals in the Black Hills, and Goochland County and Livingston, Va.; chrysoprase at Visalia, Cal.; agate in Wyoming and at Soldier's Delight, Md.; opal at Bare Hills, Md., and Clover Creek, Idaho; wardite, a new "semi-precious" stone, in Utah; Smithsonite, a golden-yellow carbonate of zinc, locally known as "yellow fat," in beautiful mammilar masses in the Morning Star Mine, Yellville, Ark. Besides these are the fossilized woods, which have become generally known. Mr. Kunz's report for 1895 mentions also moss agate at two localities in Wyoming and two iu California; labradorite at Toronto, Ont., and Mont Shavano, Cal.; rhoderosite in Colorado and Utah; realgar at the Golden Gate Mine, Utah; and the largest black tourmaline known, monazite, and xenotine on Manhattan Island.


The Growth and Decay of Nations.—The following paragraphs are taken from an article in a recent Contemporary Review, by Thomas Hodgkin, D. C. L.: "It is a question which has been often discussed, and to which men's minds have often turned of late, whether states and nations have, like individual men, their necessary periods of infancy, childhood, adolescence, and old age, to be followed, in the one case as in the other, by death, which is the end of all. The analogy between the state and the man at once suggests itself; but analogy is not in itself proof: on the contrary, it is sometimes one of our most misleading guides. That many great and strong empires have faded and vanished away is obvious.

"'Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what are they?'

"But are we therefore forced to conclude that all states must die? Is it incumbent on the wise statesman to look forward to his country's death and to make provision for that event, as it is incumbent on each one of us individually to 'consider our latter end,' and so to order our affairs that those who come after us shall not have occasion to curse either our improvidence or our over caution? I suggest the question without presuming fully to answer it. Only I may hint that it does seem as if, for some reason or other, there were a greater tenacity of life among the nations of modern Europe than there was in most of the nations of