« НазадПродовжити »
the story of his strange experience is inseparably connected with the history and traditions of Hartsville, as is an anecdote related by Dr. Franklin in his autobiography of one of its ministers, the Rev. Charles Beatty. Dr. Beatty was acting as chaplain to the army of five hundred men led by Franklin to defend the frontier against the French and Indians after the burning of the Moravian mission at Gnadenhütten, Penn. “Dr. Beatty complained to me,” says Franklin, “ that the men did not generally attend his prayers and exhortations. When they were enlisted, they were promised, besides hay and provisions, a gill of rum a day, which was punctually served out to them, half in the morning, and the other half in the evening; and I observed they were as punctual in attending to receive it; upon which I said to Mr. Beatty, It is perhaps below the dignity of your profession to act as steward of the rum, but if you were to deal it out, and only just after prayers, you would have them all about you.'” The shrewd suggestion was adopted by Dr. Beatty, and the philosophic Franklin adds, “Never were prayers more generally and more punctually attended; so that I thought this method preferable to the punishment inflicted by some military laws for non-attendance on divine service.” We may well say with the Northern bard, in reflecting on this anecdote,
Old times are changed, old manners gone, when a Presbyterian minister felt it to be not against his conscience to measure out rum to his flock; but, as each one received but half a gill at a time, may not the reverend gentleman have considered that, in a certain sense, he was assisting a temperance movement ?
The town of Hartsville, once Neshaminy, and now bearing the name of Colonel William Hart, who owned large tracts of land hereabouts, is also on the York Road; but the church over which Mr. Tennent presided is situated on the Bristol Road, a short distance north of the town. The present church was built in 1745; but, having been twice renovated, its modern appearance may disappoint the antiquarian visitor, who will, however, find ample compensation if he step across the road to the old cemetery, where the church of 1726 stood, where rest the ashes of the founder of the Log College, and within whose enclosure are buried many of the early settlers of Bucks County, as the names of Hart, Kerr or Carr, Jamison, Darrah, Prior, Ramsey, Mearns, and Long, engraved on the moss-grown tombstones, testify. Although his remains do not rest in the old graveyard, but in Bardstown, Kentucky, along these road-sides and by the banks of the Neshaminy John Fitch, the inventor, walked and talked and thought out his great problems. He tells us in his autobiography, which is dedicated to his friend and patron the Rev. Nathaniel Irwin, that one Sunday, after listening to one of his sermons in the old church, and while watching Mr. Sinton and his wife drive along rapidly in their "chaise,” he conceived the idea of vehicles being propelled by steam, from which he finally evolved the theory that a steam-engine might be invented for moving carriages and boats. As if to connect the Hartsville of the past not only with the world of science and invention of to-day, but also with the nation's political life in the last decade, it transpires that in the Neshaminy
graveyard rest the remains of Simpsons, ancestors of General Grant, and of Scotts, not a few, from whom the wife of the present Chief Executive of the United States is descended.
If President Harrison and his wife visit Hartsville during the September celebration, drawn thither by their interest in Presbyterianism and by memories of those who sleep in the old cemetery, their children's progenitors, they will find still other landmarks, than those connected with the church, clustering about this quaint little village. For on the York Road, over which all who visit the Log College must pass, Benjamin Franklin, while serving as Deputy-Postmaster for the Colonies, drove back and forth between New York and Philadelphia, superintending the postal service of the country, not unfrequently carrying the mail-bag himself in his old-fashioned chaise, if we may judge by his ordinary methods of conducting business. On the same road, a half-mile north of the town, is a house in excellent preservation, in which General Washington spent two weeks, with his army encamped on these hill-sides, before he marched through Philadelphia to meet the British on the field of Brandywine. It was here also that the young Marquis de Lafayette, filled with an ardent enthusiasm for liberty, laid at the feet of the Commander-in-Chief the sword that had already been accepted by Congress.
Down this road the army passed, beside the flowing stream, through the little village, and on through the rolling country whose broad and fertile fields proclaimed Bucks County a fitter land for the trade of the farmer than for that of the soldier. And so, to commemorate the centenary of no battle-field, however glorious, will men and women congregate here in September days, but to celebrate with song and speech the victories of peace and righteousness.
Anne H. Wharton.
THE WORLD KNOWS BEST.
Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
Your woes, and your doubts, and your fears:
It needs your smiles, not your tears.
O moaner, your moan would grow deeper
For who could sing in gay tone?-
AN ANSWER TO DR. BONWILL.
THE novel points made by Dr. Bonwill in his article against evolution in the
August Lippincotť s certainly call for some comment from the advocates of evolution, though the task is none too easy a one, from the lack of anything very tangible to combat. Possibly the book promised by the author may present facts and arguments worthy the best weapons of the reviewer, but a long list of claims unsupported by evidence has no sounder standing in the court of science than it would have in a court of law. Dr. Bonwill, it is true, makes certain assertions, some of them, indeed, quite remarkable assertions, and with these alone criticism can deal. Of these assertions, that on which he rests with all the emphasis of italics, and which forms the corner-stone of his series of claims, is “ that the lower jaw of man is an equilateral triangle, and that all races have it, and that it has so existed from the advent of the first man." Even should we grant that all this was well-proved fact, we cannot perceive its relevancy, or how evolution must suffer in consequence. That it is fact in the case of all men may very safely be denied. Granting that an equilateral triangle may be drawn in the manner he proposes within regularly-shaped jaws, what are we to do with the case of retreating jaws, and what with prognathous jaws ? As regards the jaw of the first man, it may safely be asked whence Dr. Bonwill got his precise information. Anthropologists would be very glad to see the jaw from which he made his measurements. That human jaws are by no means all of the same exact shape must be admitted, and the variations which they undoubtedly display are all that the Darwinists ask for. Darwin's claim is that from such slight variations great variations have gradually arisen, and that through a long accumulation of minute changes new species of animals have emerged from older species.
The hypothesis of Dr. Bonwill is founded on the assumed perfection of the equilateral triangle, the hexagon, and the circle. In what respect perfect? In what conceivable sense is a hexagon more perfect than an octagon or a square, or an equilateral than a right-angled triangle? That any one geometrical figure is particularly " perfect," and can claim superiority in the order of nature on that account, may be “recognized” by Dr. Bonwill, but has certainly never been recognized by mathematicians.
Our theorist goes on to claim that as we have no evidence that there is such a thing as a straight line in nature," therefore “nature must abhor a straight line,” and must have provided at least three worlds in the beginning for fear a straight line of motion might, at least temporarily, and in disregard of the dictum of nature and Dr. Bonwill, have existed, or rather, as he expresses it, “in order to counterbalance each other and make the first law of motion a fact.” How the law that a body in motion will move forever in a straight line unless deflected by the action of surrounding bodies is proved to be a fact by taking from it all opportunity of being demonstrated, is not stated by the writer; nor does he tell us what serious disaster to nature would have occurred if by any chance a body had moved in a straight line for a brief period, or if less than three spheres had for a time existed.
If his argument that nature abhors a "traight line be well founded, what is to become of our equilateral triangle, which is entirely compounded of straight
lines, and must therefore be an object of nature's special detestation, rather than her standard of perfection ? Dr. Bonwill proceeds to declare that it is impossible "to conceive of the existence at any time in the history of life of an organ that was not globular,” or of the existence of such an organ “alone at any moment for a single instant.” As to this remarkable assertion, the real difficulty seems to be to conceive of an organ that ever was globular. Certainly the eye of man never beheld such a phenomenon, and man has looked pretty closely into the make-up of organs. Why need we trouble ourselves to “conceive,” when we can place organs at any time we please before our eyes for inspection? He who perceives a perfect globe among them will certainly win fame as a discoverer ; though just what he means by this statement we confess ourself unable to discover. In regard to the second assertion, as the words“ moment” and “ instant” have nearly or quite the same meaning, it is equally doubtful what is meant to be shown. Dr. Bonwill continues, “I claim that the bare assertion of attraction and repulsion is evidence that there must have been a third factor giving power to these, and that, as evolution has to begin from a single germ, the first law of motion denies the theory." Yet what is to hinder attraction and repulsion acting - between two bodies as readily as between three? And who besides Dr. Bonwill has declared "that evolution has to begin from a single germ”? It seems to us that it is not the first law of motion, but its peculiar interpreter, that “ denies" the theory. In regard to an assertion being evidence we shall say nothing, as his whole article is based on this assumption.
Has not Dr. Bonwill drifted far out to sea in this philosophical disquisition? What in the world it has to do with the question of the perfection of the human jaw it would take more than an ordinary mortal to discover, and I, being but an ordinary mortal, must give up the task. A more definite claim is the following: “That life could not have been prolonged without the fittest—the most efficient-organ having been made at the earliest stage; otherwise it could not have been continued;" and, as before said, the human jaw is the fittest, in short the mathematically perfect, organ of mastication. This decision is a little hard on the lower animals. Nature has dealt with them unkindly in not providing them with human jaws. It is true, the browsing cow might have had some difficulty in masticating grass with such an organ, and have called loudly on nature to give it back its imperfect but very useful jaw. And how about the claim that the most efficient organ must have been made at the earliest stage? Man's jaw was late in coming. Dr. Bonwill may claim in reply that the jaw of each animal is perfectly adapted to the masticatory demands of that animal. Yet this would be a ruinous admission, for it would yield us at once a long series of lower jaws, each peculiar in shape, and each perfect in its way. The main difference between the jaws of mammals, indeed, is that there is a gradual foreshortening from the grass-eaters to the fruit- and flesh-eaters, and that the jaw of man seems to be of the fruit-eating type, as shown in its resemblance to that of the Quadrumana. That it is very well adapted to this purpose must be admitted, but it would be strikingly ill adapted to a ruminant animal ; while if such a jaw were given to a crocodile or a shark said creature would certainly find itself seriously discommoded by the perfection of its masticatory apparatus.
Another assertion worthy of remark is the following: “All organic life that has motion must have some point of attachment for muscles, or a fulcrum by which the levers act, since they are not, as claimed by evolutionists, single globes of jelly, having single organs to perform different functions." There is reason to believe that the writer has not said here just what he meant, for in that case he would not have given us a collocation of words without meaning. What are not "single globes of jelly'? The muscles? If so, what evolutionist has claimed that they are? It is to be supposed that evolutionists have some remote knowledge of anatomy. And does Dr. Bonwill wish to deny the existence of the Amoebæ, which are single masses of jelly, yet which move and perform different functions without muscles or fulcrums?
As to his further claims of what natural selection can, or cannot, do, they are of the same type as the above. It may be asked in what essential " death to the weakest” differs from “survival of the fittest,” and on what ground it is declared that the disuse of any organ, or of the combined organs, can change no part of any animal. Certainly if any organ were disused there would be a decided change in the animal. But here again it is probable that the wicked words have gone astray, and made the writer say something very different from what he intended.
Limitation of space prevents our treating the subject at the length we should like, and we must conclude with reference to one or two further points. In regard to the duplication of the human eye spoken of, it may be admitted that opticians can make a more perfect optical apparatus than the eye. Yet this affair of metal and glass would be very far indeed from duplicating the human eye. The optician takes advantage of the laws of light, as nature has done in the development of the eye, and that is all that need be said about it. But Dr. Bon will makes the stunningly stupendous statements that “I have duplicated by design and intelligence the most complex organ in the human body, and made it perform the same function as the natural organ.” “I claim that if I am able to form such a complex organ by a single act of creation I must be greater than nature.” “The evolutionist must grant that I have produced what was either in existence from the beginning, or that I am a creator.” Let us stop to take breath. The claimant has made a well-fitting set of false teeth, of metal or rubber and porcelain, in imitation of the surface formation of the mouth, and of the real teeth. Where is there here any duplication of the jaw, with its nerves, blood-vessels, various tissues of bone and Aesh, and its other complications? Have there then been false teeth in existence from the beginning, and did the Creator use them as models of the human jaw? Or rather has not Dr. Bonwill found an organic mechanism in existence, and produced an imitation that to some extent answers the same purpose, but which is not in the most remote sense a duplication, and forthwith claimed to be a creator? If this claim is well founded, and creation is so easy, then the skilled sculptor may claim to be a creator to a far greater extent than our skilful dentist, for the former in his statue creates a whole human body, while the latter humbly limits his aspiration to the creation of a lower jaw.
In these days, when to become a millionaire is a chief aim of life and the disposal of accumulated wealth its great anxiety, the marriage of an heiress is a great event. It requires much consideration, and, until all the conditions are accepted, the negotiations may be broken off at any moment and the expectant suitor dismissed. This is not restricted to the countries on either side of the