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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/134

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Great Britain, but for the benefit of rapacious politicians and traders and manufacturers in Spain. In the colonial administration the former sought easy employment and speedy fortune. In the colonial commercial regulations the latter found an artificial support for trade and manufactures that could not have survived without them. By discriminations, Spanish millers, for instance, were able to import wheat, turn it into flour, and sell it to the colonists at a price scandalously in excess of that charged for the American product. Sometimes the trouble to grind the wheat was not taken. After it had been imported into Spain it was shipped to the colonies, and upon them was thrown the expense of needless transportation and the profits of superfluous middlemen.

With the complete extinction of the colonial empire of Spain will come to an end these opportunities for the pillage of industrious peoples. The parasites, commercial and bureaucratic, that have depended upon them for a livelihood will be obliged to turn their attention to more legitimate employment. There will be brought to an end also the immense sacrifice of life and treasure required to suppress the ever-recurring insurrections. Both will be left in Spain to develop her resources and to add to her wealth and prosperity; but, best of all, will cease the encouragement to the militant and bureaucratic spirit that the possession of the colonies fostered. The sentiments as well as the employments appropriate to peace will receive an impulse that ought to enable Spain to fill an honorable if not a glorious place in the future history of Europe. But this bright outlook is based upon the assumption that she will not join in the mad competition of her neighbors in armaments and thus fall a prey with them to the economic and moral ravages of "an armed peace."




An ingenious article by M. Camille Mélinand, which appeared a few months ago in the Revue des Deux Mondes under the title of Le Rêve et la Réalité (Dream and Reality), is reproduced, in its more important points, in translation, in the present number of the Monthly, and will repay perusal for the novel views it presents. The object of the writer is to show that there is not so much difference as is commonly supposed between the waking and sleeping states, that our dreams are not so illusory nor our waking experiences so absolutely real as we are in the habit of assuming, and that, as we wake from dreams, so we may expect to wake from what we call life into a condition of existence that will give us a new standpoint, and reduce all the experiences which we now take so seriously and tragically to the level of a dream. The only substantial differences he recognizes between our waking state and the dream state are (1) that in our waking moments we know that there is another condition which we call dreaming, while in our dreams we do not recognize a separate waking state; and (2) that, while we wake from our dreams, we do not wake from what we call reality.

M. Mélinand writes in a candid spirit, and yet we think his article is calculated to encourage a somewhat unhealthy type of mysticism. We do not see how it is possible to take too serious a view of the life we live in the present. Whether we view it tragically or not must depend in large measure upon our individual experiences; and happy are they into whose lives tragedy does not enter. The very fact that M. Mélinand would dissuade us from taking life