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tiquated opinion, in which students shall soak for four years and come out to find themselves compelled to unlearn faulty methods, to avoid being defenders of an obsolete past.
To say nothing of what the theory of evolution has done for the natural sciences, it has made over the history of human actions and of every form of human thought. It has shown us in what way literature, for example, grows in accordance with perceptible laws; it enables us to get a better vision of antiquity; it is, in short, like every great step in thought, a simplification of knowledge, and, like every great step in thought, it is met by sniffs and sneers.
The raw fact that a burning wax candle is converted into carbonic acid and water is but a scrap of education, or rather of information; but the comprehension of the processes of evolution, be it in language, history, or butterflies, gives one a key which he can apply with advantage to any accumulation of learning. After all, the great aim of teaching is not what to think, but how to think, and if this is best learned in a laboratory let us send boys into the laboratory.
That science will expel literature is no more likely than that geometrical diagrams will take the place of pictures. Art and literature may languish, but they will be most certain to do this when they turn their back on the great interests of society. Science must influence them, but it will be by purging them of the melodramatic element, which can certainly be well spared. There is no danger that we shall lose our admiration of masterpieces. We are no less moved by the apparition of Hamlet's father because we know that ghosts do not appear. All that I mean is this—that such work of ours as is done in the way we ourselves think natural and right, is more likely to live than such as we do because some one else has approved of it. Despair over the probable ruin of art and letters because science is powerful, is a superfluous abandonment of hope when we look upon the magnificence of modern literature that grew up an imitation of the Roman imitation of Greek writers.
If science gives us the truth about anything, there is more hope for letters than if these concern themselves only with musty conventionalities. Science enlarges the sphere of our observation and renders this more exact. In this way it feeds and does not blight the imagination.
THOMAS SERGEANT PERRY.
SANITARY drainage art. Forty yearil waters, - mainuction of
SANITARY drainage, as we know it in America, has been a peculiarly progressive art. Forty years ago, towns were sewered to get rid of their surface and subsoil waters,—mainly to prevent the flooding or dampness of cellars, and the obstruction of traffic by the accumulations of storm-water. Agricultural lands were drained for agricultural improvement. Houses were drained for convenience. “Sanitary,” so far as common speech was concerned, was a word uncoined. Edwin Chadwick, then a middle-aged enthusiast, had barely inaugurated the movement which the world was so slow to take up, which has owed so much of its progress to his sturdy and sustained impulse, and of which, as a hale octogenarian, he is still one of the most lucid, most enterprising, and most effective promoters.
Though till then carried on with little reference to the health of the person or of the people, the drainage of houses and grounds and towns had become a somewhat systematic art. The stormsewers of the first half of the century constituted the basis of the sanitary drainage which was to follow. The covered creeks and the subterranean waterways of London and other cities, constructed with a widely different purpose, were used for the discharge of a gradually increasing proportion of the offscourings of the population. Following Chadwick's suggestion, the subject of separating this foul flow from the storm-water drainage, after much discussion, obtained a certain amount of practical development. It had elicited much instructive discussion, and not a little acrimonious debate, at the time when the improvement of town sewerage began to receive intelligent attention in America. The first important contribution to this branch of our municipal literature was made by Mr. Chesbrough, who, in 1858, reported to the local authorities of Chicago the results of a careful and critical study of European drainage systems, offering at the same time a sewerage project for the apparently impracticable swamp area which had been chosen for the site of that city,— a scheme which, for the time when it was projected and the conditions by which it was limited, was a more than notable example of successful and intelligent engineering skill. The same talent applied now to the same conditions, in the light of what has since been learned, would produce a different and better plan, but hardly one so much in advance of the examples in which it originated.
The sewerage of Chicago and Mr. Chesbrough's later work at New Haven and elsewhere, have had a controlling influence on the sewerage systems of the country. Among the best examples of similar work executed by other engineers, may be cited the sewerage of Providence, of Brooklyn, and of the upper part of New York. But, after all, a review of the drainage works of all the cities of the country shows, on the whole, how limited has been the influence of any sanitary suggestion. The drainage systems of our newer towns is generally bad, and those of the older ones is even worse. Taken as a whole, the old peninsula of Boston is a quite complete museum of almost every conceivable mistake and defect in public sewerage. It has some good sewers, but an unusual proportion of very bad ones, as is shown by an illustrated report on the subject made by Eliot C. Clarke, Esq., to the Massachusetts State Board of Health. Philadelphia offers in its older and its best peopled portions much less variety of defect, but an almost universal dissemination of defects of very serious character.
Boston, Buffalo, and a few other large towns are now executing or considering the construction of great intercepting trunksewers to keep their foul outflow out of adjacent waters. It would have been more logical if the authorities of those cities had first secured the reconstruction of their interior sewerage systems, and so remedied faults which have a more immediate effect on the health of the people. Certainly, a logical sequence of their present efforts must be an extension to the interior of the town of the principle of purification now being applied to the water front. The influence of the example of England, where the greatest attention has been given to water-carried sewerage, has been most important. The practice of separating storm-water from foul drainage, advocated there some forty years ago, and from that time to this largely adopted, was so obviously a move in the right direction, where circumstances favor such a system, that it has at last had marked effect in this country, where, indeed, it has received important modification and amendment. Many smaller towns, for which sewerage was recently not thought necessary, are now discussing the propriety of introducing complete works, or are actually carrying them out, advantage being taken in many cases of the greater economy and cleanliness of the separate system. Indeed, this system is being considered for portions of our larger towns in some cases, in others for whole towns. Baltimore, for example, where the existing sewerage works are confined to some dozen miles of storm-water conduits laid in the low-lying parts of the town where surface water used to accumulate, is now actively considering a project submitted by its engineer, Mr. Charles H. Latrobe, for the complete sewerage of the whole city,- over one hundred miles,-on the system of the entire separation of storm-water, as carried out in Memphis. New Orleans has adopted the same system, to be executed when, if ever, it shall be able to procure funds for the purpose.
Ordinary brick sewers, as built from immemorial time, are practically very far from being impervious to water. The original purpose of their construction has usually been to carry away storm-water flowing on the surface of streets and of private property; but one of their most beneficial offices has been found to be the incidental removal of the surplus moisture of the soil,- an effect the influence of which upon public health has always been great. So obvious, indeed, has been the advantage of such soil drainage that, where tightly jointed vitrified pipes are used in heavy soils it is usual, in the best practice, to lay porous draining-tiles in the ditch, or, in practice not so good, as in recent work at Newport, to leave the lower part of the joints of the pipes uncemented, securing in this way, when the ground is saturated, an efficient subsoil drainage. Unfortunately, this method secures also the unintended result of allowing foul sewage to spread itself throughout the soil during dry seasons, poisoning the ground and robbing the heavier part of the sewage of its requisite means of transportation, stranding it as a deposit in the pipes.
The influence of subsoil drainage on the general health of the people, and especially in removing or mitigating fever and ague in malarious regions, has been quite as marked in the case of drainage works carried out in country districts for purely
agricultural reasons. The result of such drainage in England, in districts which were formerly extremely malarious, has been most important and lasting, and it is now the accepted belief on all sides that the sovereign remedy for fever and ague is the complete drainage of all moist land in the neighborhood.
The history of house drainage during the past fifty years is the history of a most rapid and satisfactory progress, from the mere introduction of convenient channels for the removal of what would otherwise have to be carried out of the house by hand, to a process whose intimate relation to the health of the people is universally recognized. It has more recently exhibited a steady growth from the "modern conveniences” scattered throughout the house by the profuse hand of the plumber, with no regard to the effect on the atmosphere of the dwelling, to the "sanitary drainage” which is now so jealously guarded by intelligent Boards of Health, and in which convenience is made secondary to conditions of cleanliness and purity. It is safe to say that we have now the prospect of securing, at an early day, a constant regard for healthful conditions in the introduction into the houses of rich and poor of those appliances for convenient and more civilized living which the whole people is so fast coming to demand.
A review of this progress discloses a remarkable change in public sentiment. Twenty years ago the number of persons who paid the least attention to the sanitary accompaniments of modern living was altogether insignificant. Later, the influence of the pens and tongues of a few enthusiasts, and of far fewer philosophers, began to be felt, and that element of society which formerly expended its enthusiasm on phrenology and kindred "sciences” began to take up sanitary science as a more promising field for the exercise of its energies. This led to the condition which now prevails, when drainage is elevated to a position of undue prominence; when, with few exceptions, all the ills that flesh is heir to are ascribed to wet ground, foul soil, defective drains, and that great bugaboo of them all, “sewer-gas"; when defective ventilation, stove heat, furnace heat, bad food, and worse drink are allowed their littledisturbed sway, the majority of their victims being charged to the account of bad drainage. The capital of the nation is notoriously the place where “malaria" plays its wildest pranks and finds its most distinguished subjects. Its site has defects,